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Waste Land - Essay Example

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At the same time, to be able to keep in mind that they are working with people yields the necessity of participating. The fact that Muniz was already involved and is in charge of the process gives the filmmakers the chance to encapsulate the interaction between the world-renowned Brazilian contemporary artist and his advocacy to help out the catadores. As the director herself has pointed out, “There’s no limit to the responsibility you have as a documentary filmmaker to portray ordinary people. I think it’s fantastic that in the film, you see Vik arguing with his wife about whether to bring the catadores to London or not for the auction” (Steinberg, n.p.). This scene actually built the most tension and a thought-provoking one in fact as both sides have equally persuasive arguments. The level of empathy that was instilled throughout the documentary set out the emotional flow that enabled to send its message across. Near the end of the film, the audience sees Muniz in a pensive mood contemplating how his life could easily have been in the same direction as the garbage-pickers. “Vik Muniz diligently cleared a trail for himself, which he studied, expanded, and further elaborated, until gleefully setting a distinctive course for his work” (Amaral, par.2). This may have been the case but his life has been one of amazement from the cause which led him to New York to his success as a modern artist. Halfway through the film any viewer would realize that the story is not about him and how he helped the poor people of Brazil. No, right after Isis’ posing for the camera one immediately realizes that there is more than charity that fuels it. There is the transcendent quality of evolving that started at Jardim Gramacho. The subjects were ordinary people conveying extraordinary lives no one but them could have possibly experienced. They were poor but they were dignified and this they treasured the most. When interviewed about their job, this sense of pride is the concurring answer from all of them. Though they have the most socially stigmatized work, they see it as a much better option than taking the easier way to earn a living by prostituting or selling drugs. Furthermore, people like Tiao, Zumbi, Irma, Isis and Suelem renders one in awe with the knowledge, compassion and love that they extend to other people. It is nothing short of amazing that someone like Tiao reads Machiavelli among others and has reference to Marat. Zumbi who has the heart to dream for the children in the dumpsite of a library, Irma who laboriously cooks in any weather, Isis who goes on despite the bitterness and Suelem who only longs to be a good mother. These scenes inculcate to the audience nothing short of wonder. They represent endearing characteristics in such a way that you cannot help but vouch for them. The bond that was formed was an inevitable consequence of changing the lives not only of the people from the dump sites but of the man who envisioned the whole process. It was a calculating move from Vik Muniz to choose the place and in his own words “Do something that will revert back to them” (Waste Land). This in all its irony was the amalgamation of art and garbage. It is something consistent with his art’ ...Show more
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Waste Land is the coming together of people to capture into film not only the transformation of people but essentially their story and how each individual has a life worth telling. The documentary provided a vision that portrayed the strengthened connection that was created between Vik Muniz and his group with the characters that make up the catadores or garbage-pickers at Jardim Gramacho…
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