Waste Land (film)

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Waste Land
A poster with the film title showing a portrait of a man reclining in a bathtub inspired by Jacques-Louis David's 1793 painting Death of Marat, composed entirely of recyclable material
Promotional film poster
Directed byLucy Walker
João Jardim
Karen Harley
Produced byAngus Aynsley
Hank Levine
Peter Martin
Fernando Meirelles
StarringVik Muniz
Music byMoby
Edited byPedro Kos
O2 Filmes
Intelligent Media
Almega Projects
Distributed byMidas Filmes
Release date
  • 24 January 2010 (2010-01-24) (Sundance)
Running time
100 minutes
United Kingdom
LanguagesPortuguese, English

Waste Land is a 2010 British-Brazilian documentary film directed by Lucy Walker. The film chronicles artist Vik Muniz, who travels to the world's largest landfill, Jardim Gramacho outside Rio de Janeiro, to collaborate with a lively group of catadores of recyclable materials, who find a way to the most prestigious auction house in London via the surprising transformation of refuse into contemporary art. The catadores work in a co-operative founded and led by Sebastião Carlos Dos Santos, the ACAMJG, or Association of Pickers of Jardim Gramacho, who dreamed of improving life for his community. The money created by the selling of the artworks was given back to the catadores and the ACAMJG, as well as the prize money from the film awards, to help the catadores and their community.

The film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and went on to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, as well as win over 50 other film awards including the International Documentary Association's Best Documentary Award, which was handed to director Lucy Walker inside a garbage bag.[1][2]

The documentary was produced by Angus Aynsley and Hank Levine, executive produced by Fernando Meirelles, co-directed by João Jardim and Karen Harley, co-produced by Peter Martin, and photographed by Dudu Miranda. The music was created by Moby, who is a friend and frequent collaborator of Walker.[3]

The film was distributed by Arthouse Films in the US, Entertainment One in Canada, Hopscotch Films in Australia and New Zealand, and Midas Filmes in its native Portugal.


Waste Land received unanimously positive reviews as "an uplifting portrait of the power of art and the dignity of the human spirit."[4]On the Rotten Tomatoes aggregator site, 100% of critics gave the film positive ("certified fresh") reviews, based on 71 reviews,and an average rating of 8.08/10, earning the film a Golden Tomato Award for the best-reviewed film of the year, and the only documentary to be 100% positively rated for that year.[5] The website's critical consensus states, "Waste Land begins with an eco-friendly premise, but quickly transforms into an uplifting portrait of the power of art and the dignity of the human spirit".It also has a score of 78 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 20 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[6]

This film was invited to screen at festivals and special events around the world, and received over 50 awards.[7]

International titles[edit]

The Portuguese-language title is Lixo Extraordinário literally meaning "extraordinary garbage", which is a pun referring to the labels on Brazilian sanitation trucks containing special waste.[8] The Spanish-language title is El Reino de la Basura, literally "the kingdom of garbage".[9] The French distributors Eurozoom chose to keep the English title "Waste Land" in France with the subtitle "de la Poubelle au Musée" (From the Trash to the Museum).[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, Nigel M. (5 December 2010). "Honor Roll 2010 – “Waste Land” Director Lucy Walker". IndieWire.com
  2. ^ McNary, Dave (3 December 2010) "IDA honors 'Waste Land'". Variety.
  3. ^ Jacques, Adam (8 May 2011) "How We Met: Moby & Lucy Walker" Independent.co.uk
  4. ^ "Waste Land – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  5. ^ "2010 Golden Tomato Awards". Rotten Tomatoes. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  6. ^ https://www.metacritic.com/movie/waste-land
  7. ^ Cook, Cindi. "'Waste Land' shows at Soho House". LadyLux. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  8. ^ Programado por Ivan Silva Lemos. "Lixo Extraordinário | Home". Lixoextraordinario.net. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  9. ^ "AMBULANTE 2011 | REINO DE BASURA". 2011.ambulante.com.mx. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Waste Land • Un Film De Lucy Walker, Co-Realisateurs João Jardim Et Karen Harley – Accueil". Eurozoom.fr. Retrieved 2 August 2013.

External links[edit]