This Oscar-nominated documentary is a fascinating look at contemporary artist Vik Muniz, who traveled to Rio de Janeiro to embark on an amazing art project. He sets up shop at the world’s largest landfill, where he befriends the pickers of recyclable material. Using some of these people as subjects, he creates huge portraits with the recyclable materials, auctions them off and returns the proceeds to the pickers. The movie is not only an interesting study of a man making art, but a gripping look at the people who work and live in these landfills. The sequences showing the people rooting through mountains of garbage are among the film’s best moments; it really is an amazing system that they have worked out down in Rio. Seeing the art subjects receiving their portraits is as good as anything in any 2010 documentary.
Director: Lucy Walker, Karen Harley and Joao Jardim
Producer: Fernando Meirelles, Jackie De Botton, Miel De Botton and Angus Aynsley
Cast: Vik Muniz