The film “WasteLand” may tug at your heart or annoy it. It may raise an eyebrow toward a kinship of possibility for all or to the continuity of exploitative imbalance.It may transport you to a new avenue of artistic integration or bounce you off the celebrity marketing of art.
However you take to it, “WasteLand” offers something more engaging than a mere message film.Its spirit speaks through a high profile artist, Vic Muniz.His art has taken him far from his poor urban upbringing. Now, he mixes his art with social projects.
Muniz spent two years with garbage pickers – that is, the recyclers, humble relievers of the planet’s burden. In Rio de Joiner’s Jardim Gramacho, he included them in his process of using garbage dump materials and images of the pickers to create high-priced depictions of their humanity.The art is impressive as is the process.
Muniz transports a select few to fancy art shows where they see hundreds of thousands of dollars raised to improve their lives. These low-end servants to a consumer world walk amongst people who have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on works of art.
Back these people go to the largest landfill in Brazil.Some go with an inspiration to improve their lives beyond what it has been.All seem genuinely proud and uplifted from having been a part of something so much bigger than what they have ever experienced.
Muniz also seems entirely genuine, besides his clear talents with innovative art and money making and people of all stripes.He looks upon the experience and suggests that it is “better to have nothing and want everything than to have everything and want nothing.”His reflection does not seem to include the elite advantages of having everything and wanting everything, but this does not stop “WasteLand” from being a provocative and quite beautiful documentary.