Waste Land

Trailer (2:09)
Clip 1 (:42)
Clip 2 (:52)
Clip 3 (1:22)
  • 2011 Academy Award Nomination — Best Documentary Feature
  • 2010 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary
  • 2010 IDA Pare Larentz Award
  • 2010 IDA Best Documentary Award
  • About the Film

    Artist Vik Muniz scouting the landfill with two garbage pickers for materials with which to make art.

    Brazilian artist Vik Muniz visits the world’s largest landfill to create stunning portraits of catadores — garbage pickers — from the material they collect.

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  • Director's Statement

    Sepia-toned photo of catadores at the dump, seagulls flying overhead

    Lucy Walker explains her long-standing fascination with garbage and landfills, how training for a triathlon provided the genesis for Waste Land, and why the theme of ants resonates throughout the film.

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  • Filmmaker Chat

    Lucy Walker, with long blonde hair and wearing a purple blouse, looks at the video camera in front of her.

    In an online chat with Independent Lens viewers, Lucy Walker talks about the red carpet, the awesomeness of Moby, and the documentary films that blow her socks off.

    Read the transcript >>

  • The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik Muniz

    Black and white photo of artist Vik Muniz staring at the camera through a magnifying lamp, his eye weirdly enlarged, appearing where his face should be.

    Artist Vik Muniz has been exploring unconventional materials in his artwork for decades. In The Worst Possible Illusion: The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik Muniz, which aired on Independent Lens way back in 2003, Vik showed off his work in sugar, soil, thread, wire, and air.

    Explore the Cabinet >>

  • Talkback

    Vik Muniz stands in front of a mountain of garbage at Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill.

    Much of Vik Muniz’s art involves collaboration with — and financial benefit to — his subjects, who are often poor and disenfranchised. Do you believe art should serve its subjects? Should Leonardo da Vinci have shared profits with, for example, the mysterious Mona Lisa?

    Weigh in >>