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Waste Land

Waste-thumbstandard-v2 Renowned artist Vik Muniz embarks on one of the most inspired collaborations of his career, joining creative forces with Brazilian garbage pickers who mine treasure from the trash heaps of Rio de Janeiro's Jardim Gramacho landfill.
Netflix Rating: 4.0
NYT Critics' Pick
Lucy Walker’s inspiring documentary profiles Brazilian catadores, or trash pickers, and the artist Vik Muniz. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 100%
Critics' score: 100   Audience score: 89   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

I do not mean to make their lives seem easy or pleasant. It is miserable work, even after they grow accustomed to the smell. But it is useful work, and I have been thinking much about the happiness to be found by work that is honest and valuable. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

It shows us how artists find ideas and concepts for their work from the most unlikely sources, and it demonstrates the power of art to spark curiosity and cultural awareness in even the poorest, most underprivileged people. full review

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

It's sheer pleasure watching Muniz work -- seeing him seized by mad impulses of delight. full review

Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail

"Waste Land" is a testament that things can go from good to bad in an instant. But they can also improve just as quickly. full review

Stephanie Merry, Washington Post

It's not a very good title, Waste Land - this isn't a bleak film, at all - but just about everything else in Lucy Walker's documentary works, and illuminates. full review

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Waste Land" is a film about recycling, but it's far more intriguing than the average eco-documentary. full review

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

"Waste Land'' is just what the film's website says it is: "stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.'' full review

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

"Waste Land" is a must-see PBS-style Cinderella story with true grit, a brilliant cast and an improbably big heart. full review

Mary Abbe, Minneapolis Star Tribune

That a beautiful film could be set in the world's largest garbage dump sounds like an oxymoron, but acclaimed documentarian Lucy Walker has pulled off precisely that feat in her profoundly moving "Waste Land."

Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

[An] inspiring documentary. full review

Stephen Holden, New York Times

[Muniz's] intention to have them re-create photographic images of themselves out of garbage, while it may not pass muster as high art, has the effect of raising their spirits. At least for a while, their lives, and ours, have been transformed. full review

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

Walker's breezy film turns Muniz into a folk hero. And who am I to argue? full review

V.A. Musetto, New York Post

A fascinating look at the complex intersections of art and charity, reality and perception. full review

Eric Hynes, Village Voice

A joy to watch despite the abject poverty it contains. full review

John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

One of the powers of great portraiture is its ability to make us wonder about the complete strangers captured within enigmatic works of art. full review

Peter Debruge, Variety
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