Wasteland is a documentary that has been produced to signify an important aspect of societies, that is, removal of wastes from the environment. Workers who play an important role in cleaning a society’s wastes must get due recognition of their work. The sites where people dump waste materials in the suburban areas of cities cast a specific impression on the mind of a sensitive person. The documentary presents the view of a dumpsite that is located outside the city of Rio de Janeiro. It is named Jardim Gramacho, and it is considered as the world's largest dumpsite. Many people working there have been photographed in the documentary to show what happens on that site and how it is important to consider the issue of waste removal. Those workers, referred to as catadores, are engaged in picking the recyclable materials from the dumpsite. Catadores filmed on the dumpsite show that they are engaged in a worthwhile job. However, their living condition does not suggest that they enjoy the desirable standard of life. Lucy Walker has done an admirable job by bringing these facts to light in a thought-provoking way. The documentary is vivid, original, and interactive.
The documentary has a lot of visual appeal in the sense that it allows the viewer’s imagination to go beyond the content that has been provided in the documentary. The protagonist, Vik Muniz, goes to the suburban dumpsite, Jardim Gramacho, where he meets a number of catadores collecting recyclable materials from the heaps of refuse. The film serves multiple purposes including providing visual quality, creating awareness on the issue, and making people closer to one another.
The cause of making the documentary seems to create an awareness and movement to make people understand their responsibility toward the dumpsites that exist outside their residential areas. It can be considered as an initiative to promote awareness regarding the environmental safety. Portraying people working in heaps of garbage to remove elements of environmental pollution is admirable because the viewer will have a positive impression of this type of social responsibility.
The documentary provides a serious outlook on the lives of people working on the site. Certain viewers may find no value in doing such things and living this kind of life. Nevertheless, people filmed in this documentary exhibit a calm attitude and sense of satisfaction. They cook food, have gatherings, and enjoy their lives while working on the site. The spark in their eyes can be seen vividly, showing that they are well contented with the type of work and life they have.
The documentary is a piece of strong evidence to the fact that people can live with self-esteem even in the most unworthy places of a society. This is a very fascinating reality about human nature as it kindles the hope that humans are the most flexible creatures in the universe. They can live in harmony and peace all over the world. It is pointless to be disappointed about the future of the human race. They can derive happiness and dignity from the most unexpected places.
People living and working in dumpsites have their problems and difficulties in life. They are the same humans like all others. They have their particular social issues that must be brought into consideration the country's legislation and welfare organizations so that they can avoid any exploitation or violence. However, their efforts to survive and thrive in these circumstances are admirable. They cannot be blamed fully for any evils or crimes that exist in their social setup. The government and welfare organizations have an important role to play for their collective wellbeing.
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