Waste Land 2010 English English

Posted by on August 10, 2012

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Waste Land -- Filmed over nearly three years, Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Waste Land -- CineMagia.ro - Trailer (Flash) (Portuguese) (English subtitles) Waste Land -- MoviesTrailer.org - Trailer (Flash) Waste Land -- Movieplayer.it - Trailer (Flash)


He is, without a doubt,
one of the greatest
contemporary artists alive today.
And he gives life to garbage.
He abuses strange materials.
And he has attracted huge crowds
to his exhibitions.
Vik Muniz, come on down!
When I said he’s one of
the greatest artists alive,
I’m not exaggerating.
I really believe that,
and everyone agrees.
There is just no doubt about it.
Can you tell us how you came
to use materials from the garbage?
Hey Fabio.
So did you have a chance
to look at that garbage thing?
check the link I just sent you.
On You Tube there is a video that was
shot at this place called Gramacho.
Gramacho Gardens
it’s the biggest landfill in Rio.
They receive the trash
from all the Rio area.
What are the dangers
of working in a place like this?
First of all, the place
is surrounded by favelas…
owned by the drug traffic.
And I think the stability
of the people themselves…
they are all
excluded from society.
Some stay there overnight…
or the whole week.
It’s gonna be hard.
So do you think it is too hard?
No, because it would be much harder
to think we are not able…
to change the life of these people.
And I think we are.
So I think it’s worth a try.
This is where I am going to spend
the next two years of my life.
And your going to make
drawings out of the garbage?
And your going to employ
the people that live there?
And work there?
How is it going to be
the whole health issue…
if you work with them?
It is not exactly safe
to do what they do.
They don’t question it,
because they feed from there.
Yeah, but we do.
It’s hard to make those assumptions
from looking at Google Earth.
We have to go there
and see what they really need.
And you are going
to create everything?
I want also…
the iconography to develop
from my interaction with them.
See what is important to them.
What would they like
to make an image big?
What would they like to show?
Maybe it will end up
just being portraits.
But do you think people
they are open to work like this?
I have no idea.
These are the roughest…
people you can think of,
all drug addicts.
It’s like the end of the line.
Check out the geography
of this thing.
This is the end of the line…
This is where everything
that is not good goes.
Including the people.
We are working with the type
of individuals that…
are in Brazilian society,
not different than garbage itself.
The most poisonous thing in Brazilian
culture and society, is classism.
It’s horrible
how people really believe…
and I am talking
about educated people…
They really believe they
are better than other people.
You see?
It’s all recycling
industry around here.
People all dealing with garbage.
Every single lot
is filled with garbage.
And you see people
are carrying garbage?
It’s like a garbage land.
People look at us in a funny way,
“What the hell are we doing here?”
I see the hill.
Oh shit.
Oh my God.
It’s like a mountain.
Where are we exactly?
Right here.
Hi Lucio, I’m Vik.
Pleasure to meet you.
Hi, how are you doing?
What’s really impressive…
is that it’s the largest
landfill in the world.
Yes, it’s the largest landfill in terms
of the volume of trash received daily.
The ground underneath here
is all soft.
The landfill is like a plate of jell-o.
If you keep adding to
it without careful balancing…
it will sink here or collapse there.
You can see what they’re
recycling over there.
And it’s separate there.
Cardboard, paper, plastics, glass,
metal – they collect everything.
It works like a stock exchange.
They collect whatever the market
demands at any given time.
So the recycling wholesalers
tell the pickers what they need…
and then that’s what they collect.
Yes, that’s right.
They sell the materials
right here at the landfill.
And then it goes to the recycling
wholesalers, the intermediaries.
There they process it, removing
the bottle caps and so on.
From there it goes to another
company for shredding.
The shredded material
gets sold again…
to companies who mold it into
car bumpers, buckets, etc.
The pickers take out 200 tons of
materials per day from the landfill.
– Every day.
– Every day.
That’s equivalent to the garbage
produced by a city of 400,000 people.
– Amazing!
– Yeah.
So that’s why the pickers are
really important to the landfill…
because they help
increase its capacity.
Does all of Rio’s trash end up here?
70% of Rio’s trash ends up here…
So the garbage from
the millionaire’s mansion mixes…
with the garbage
from the poorest favela?
For sure.
Dude, It’s a city of garbage!
It’s funny how you get
used to the smell.
Yeah, I feel right at home!
– Did you hear that one?
– No.
That guy said, “They’re
filming for Animal Planet!”
It’s not as bad as I thought.
Here we are in the largest
sanitary facility…
in the world.
And the people are talking.
And I don’t see people
depressed or anything.
They seem very proud
of what they are doing.
We better get out of here.
What you see up there…
it looks very chaotic, but it’s
very organized by material…
and by the company that picks it up
and takes it to the recycling.
He’s the radio.
Enjoying the game?
The pickers who sort
through the garbage.
I learned here
is that they have…
there own choices of solid
garbage of recyclable garbage.
Women for instance
they prefer recyclable plastic…
and soft drink bottles…
and disposable
plastic because it’s lighter.
This is where the trucks stop?
Yeah the trucks
give us a ride up here.
And you each take
your own barrels with you?
Yeah, we have to buy them.
They cost US$30.
What’s your name?
Isis Rodrigues Garros.
– Isis Rodrigo?
– Rodrigues.
Let me get a portrait of you two.
Do it again.
Thank you.
– Bye, thank you.
– Bye, Isis.
How about with my hair down?
Film her!
Film her!
What a show-off!
– Bye, thanks everyone!
– Bye Isis.
Let me introduce you to Zumbi.
His nickname is Zumbi.
He’s on the board of the Association of
Pickers of Jardim Gramacho, ACAMJG.
We have to think
about the future…
because I don’t want
my son to be a picker.
Although if he is,
I’d be very proud…
But I’d rather he be a lawyer,
to represent the pickers, you know?
Or a doctor to care for the
pickers in the association.
We’re here representing the 3,000
pickers of Jardim Gramacho.
There is still no recycling
collection in the city.
You haven’t even built anything
and you want to sell off the land.
The federal government gave us
that land to build a recycling center.
Thanks to the pickers…
we built a recycling center
without a single cent from the city.
And now you are pretending
that we don’t exist!
We’re going to start a hunger strike
here in front of the mayor’s office.
Hunger strike!? Yeah, right!
I don’t know about you guys,
but I’m having lunch at noon!
Is it here?
Excuse me.
Excuse me, Sebastião?
– I’m Vik, a pleasure to meet you.
– A pleasure, I’m Tião.
– This is Fabio.
– Hi Fabio, how are you?
I’m the Brazilian artist who is
the most – I hate to say this…
but who sells and is
the most popular overseas.
Congratulations man!
I grew up very poor,
but now I’ve reached a point
where I want to give back.
I want to make portraits of
the pickers and then sell them.
All the money from the sale of the
portraits will be given back to you.
You’ll be able to do some things
to make life easier for the community.
When we started this association,
everyone laughed at us.
“You’re crazy,
that’s not going anywhere!”
“Association for what? You’re
never going to achieve anything.”
Everybody criticized us. Even
the pickers, they were the worst.
They said it wouldn’t lead anywhere,
that it would never work.
I believed in it.
I said no.
Now I believe when you put your mind
to something, you can achieve it.
Take you, for example.
How many people told you to give up,
that it was never going to happen?
Yeah, starting with my father,
my own father.
He’d say “That’s bullshit.”
“It’s not going to get you anywhere.”
When we demonstrated they’d say
“That’s not going to get you anywhere.”
Well we have paved roads
and a sewage system now.
If you went outside right now you’d see
children in the street, picking garbage.
We need to change that.
I was lucky because
I had my grandmother,
and she taught me to
read at a very young age.
Yeah, reading is so important.
Some people are crazy and throw
away their books. It’s absurd.
One time Zumbi brought me a book
and he almost cried.
He said “Man,
this book is still being sold.
I saw it yesterday
and it’s expensive!”
It looks like someone barely
read it and just threw it away.
Wow that’s great!
Yeah it’s great that Zumbi picks them
out of the trash and brings them here!
The other pickers just
tear up books and recycle them.
But Zumbi picks out the good books,
and brings them here for us to read.
I collect ‘arruivo’
meaning books, folders.
We have thousands of books…
because they’re dumped
in the landfill all the time.
I have a plan to make a community
library in my space.
Up until now, I’ve been responsible
for bringing books to the association.
I’ve read a few books -
The Da Vinci Code, The Art of War.
And I give a lot of books to Tião.
Shit! Man!
It’s good to fly over…
so we can see
what we are up against.
And it’s like this all over.
This is by far
the worst I have seen.
It looks like they
were completely left.
And the day after
we left there…
in the afternoon
they found a body there.
They can just stick a body there…
And it’s going to be under
the garbage in 12 hours.
And you become
a source of methane gas.
I already see just as a beginning.
I see 3 characters:
Tiao, Zumbi, Isis.
From far there is not “desmaios”,
the people choking.
There was none of that.
They were just like little ants…
doing what they do every day.
Hold it here for me, please.
Howdy folks!
There’s still the card problem.
The fight is long comrade…
– but victory is certain!
– Of course.
It’s not bad to be poor.
It’s bad to be rich at the height of
fame with your morals a dirty shame.
Yeah, yeah.
That’s bad!
– This is Valter dos Santos.
– Good morning!
– Hi! I’m Vik, Vik Muniz.
– I’m Valter dos Santos.
What is this
and why are you doing it?
We are making portraits
of the picker.
Because the picker is a person…
like this garbage,
that nobody knows about.
Very well,
so from what I understand,
I think this is very good for us…
because it will raise
awareness about us pickers.
– Isn’t that about right?
– Exactly.
I hope you understand me
because I don’t have…
either a primary or
a secondary education.
You didn’t ask me, but
I’m going to introduce myself.
I like introducing myself
with my own voice.
I have been a picker here
for 26 years.
I am proud to be a picker.
I’m the Vice President
the Association of Pickers
of Jardim Gramacho.
I represent 2,500 pickers
who work here at the landfill.
I carry this with pride.
Let’s say each household
generates one kilo of garbage.
And one kilo of garbage generates
500 grams of recyclable material.
So a thousand homes
generate 500 kilos…
of material that could be recycled.
That’s 500 kilos less of material that
would pollute the rivers, the lagoons…
that won’t clog the sewers
or be buried here in the landfill…
doing such great harm
to nature and the environment.
I try to explain to people…
what they can recycle
and what they can compost…
and what they should do.
People sometimes say
“But one single can?”
One single can is
of great importance.
Because 99 is not 100,
and that single one will
make the difference.
I feel disgusting.
I can’t believe you want
to show me all dirty.
So tell me Isis, how long
have you worked here?
– Five years.
– Five years?
And what’s it like working here?
– Really bad. Awful.
– Really bad?
You don’t like it?
Look Vik, it’s Vik, right?
This isn’t a future.
But you make
good money here, right?
Yes, I make US$20-$25 a day.
That’s right!
Very good!
It really is very good.
Think about what you’re going to do
when you get out of Gramacho.
When you’re rich and famous.
I met someone.
And today I am in love with him.
He is a truck driver.
It’s just that…
I can’t talk about it
or I’ll start to cry.
It’s been 2 weeks
since we broke up.
I really like him.
He was a good thing in my life.
But it’s been two weeks
since we broke up.
I got a tattoo of his name
on my leg.
And you won’t get back together?
I don’t think so.
Why did you break up?
It ended because…
he was married.
And so it ended.
Look out! Get out of the way!
I have nothing to complain
about in my life.
Nothing, nothing at all.
Oh, man, if I complained
God would punish me.
Tell him what you want be.
I want to be a doctor.
What kind a doctor?
A psychologist.
Did you know that psychologists
take care of crazy people?
– Yeah.
– No, that’s not true.
No? So what do psychologists do?
There was a woman
there who was blonde.
Oh. Beto’s wife!
And she told me that if I wanted
I could be a psychologist.
So that’s why I want
to be a psychologist.
It’s ruiet now because there are
no wars between the favelas.
But when there are
wars between the favelas…
you can be sure that a lot
of dead bodies will be dumped here.
There are always weird things here.
Yeah, who’s Marat?
– Marat was an intellectual…
– Oh, like me.
Nobody else likes the guys I like.
I like Machiavelli.
Machiavelli’s cool.
– Who I really like is Nietzsche.
– What about Nietzsche?
Nietzsche’s got a great
philosophy on life.
Let’s make Tião into Marat.
He died in the bathtub like this.
– Bring that bathtub!
– I’m going to play a dead guy.
One time I was walking in the
garbage and I came across this book.
It was all muddy and on it was written
“The Prince” by Machiavelli.
I felt like reading it so I took it home
and put it behind the fridge to dry.
When it dried out I began to read.
Machiavelli wrote about all
of the princes of his day.
That time period in Florence,
that madness…
it reminds me a lot of Rio today,
all these different fiefdoms…
each with their own gangs
and their own fortifications.
I got really into it.
He talks about Moses, who became
leader because God talked to him.
And Cesare Borgia,
because of the corrupt pope.
That was when I was becoming
President of the Association.
I learned a lot.
Be careful!
You can get further in,
and sit up a bit more.
My legs will stick out.
– You can bend them.
– We’ll cut that out.
He’s like this.
That’s it.
This piece of paper is
in the left hand.
This hand.
That’s it exactly! That’s right!
– Got it!
– Thank you, Tião!
Very cool, man!
Do you want juice?
This is beef stew, rib stew.
Here’s boiling water
to make pasta.
Hand me that bag!
When the market produce ends up
here in boxes, it’s easier for me.
I get potatoes
and vegetables.
The drivers from the supermarket
trucks bring me clean vegetables.
If the meat truck comes, the boys
get it before the expiration date.
I am a trained cook,
a restaurant cook.
In this garbage I make many things.
I make salads, potato,
roast beef.
When I can get a good cut of meat,
I roast it for them.
And them they get silly and
sing me happy birthday,
even though it isn’t my birthday.
We feel good in here.
I feel very good.
Even if it rains,
I get the fire running to cook.
I don’t let anyone go hungry.
– Just like that.
– Like that?
That’s right, but face me!
Don’t put this on TV, I’d die.
I first came here almost a year ago.
My husband became unemployed.
And we had to pay the bills, keep
the household, support my son.
We would get on the bus,
and people would go like this.
It’s quite a perfume!
It got to the point where I’d say:
Excuse me ma’am, but do I stink?
Do you smell something bad?
It’s because I was working
over there in the dump.
It’s better than
turning tricks in Copacabana.
I find it to be
more interesting and more honest.
It’s more dignified.
I stink now, but when I get home
I’ll take a shower, and it’ll be fine.
But it’s disgusting.
It’s easy for you to be sitting there
at home in front of your television…
consuming whatever you want
and tossing everything in the trash…
and leaving it out on the street for
the garbage truck to take it away.
But where does that garbage go?
That’s it.
We go along.
The fight is expensive.
We have a great value.
Come on boy!
Come here
and get your hands dirty.
When you go to get your money
you don’t say it’s dirty.
Easy there. Let’s go.
Come on, come on!
Fabio, we need to see
what material you’re going to use.
Ok, so the easiest thing
to decide is the carnival stuff.
Costumes and things like that?
Costumes and things because clear
glass is no of no use for me.
But green champagne bottles,
brown beer bottles, costumes…
you could collect things
like that for me.
Are we going to do it
by weight or by tarpful?
How do we do it? They told me
that a tarp cost US$0.40 per kilo?
Per kilo, yeah.
And they said that one
cost US$0.70 cents?
Yes, US$0.71 cents.
This is PET. When it makes
that noise you know it’s PET.
That for example is not PET,
it’s PP. It’s the most expensive.
And what about brown glass?
Glass we have to pick specially,
we normally don’t pick glass.
– No?
– No, normally we don’t.
– Do you have a price for it?
– Glass is US$0.06 cents per kilo.
– Six cents? It’s cheaper than PET?
– Yeah, it’s a lot cheaper.
– But it’s a lot heavier.
– But it’s a lot heavier.
What’s all that mixed up over
there, bottles, that hoses…
That’s all PVC.
PVC is almost all made up
of different objects.
There are jellies.
PVC is what I will use the most.
It gives you the feeling
of being “everything”.
Of objects.
For me PVC is the filet mignon
And I’ll use the PET
and glass more as filler.
To fill it up.
– Just white Paper.
– PET, metals.
Just white paper.
Watch the truck!
Here it comes!
Watch the truck!
Before coming to the landfill,
we had a calm life.
My mother still lived
with my father.
I was the oldest
and I had two younger brothers.
But then my father died.
You’re sowing,
throwing grain like this.
– I’m sowing.
– Yeah.
This hand here
can be relaxed and open.
My mother was struggling.
We heard about Jardim Gramacho.
My mother came here,
and then I came too.
I started to help her out.
I was nine years old.
My mother worked here for a while,
but then she died as well.
Once, I was collecting
here on the ramp…
when the gate
of the garbage truck fell off.
It fell on me, and started
to drag me and crush me…
I broke my leg, my arm.
I fractured a rib.
I broke my other arm here.
I was in really bad shape.
If it weren’t for my friends here…
Over 20 people donated blood.
It was great for the hospital
because their blood bank was filled.
People here gave me
a lot of support.
It’s better than during the day,
there are less people.
It’s better than being out there…
like a lot of people,
prostituting yourself.
We are working honestly.
We’re earning our living.
I’ve worked
since I was seven years old.
Now I’m 18.
I eat what I find around here.
I take it from the truck.
Yogurt comes along,
whatever comes along, I eat it.
If I don’t die, it’s not bad.
I can get by.
We see things
that aren’t pleasant.
Like the other day I went up there
and something made me throw up…
There was a baby there
that had been thrown away.
I fell over backwards.
I immediately thought
of my own kids.
– It was dead?
– Yes.
Rent is US$8 per week.
If you are late and pay
on Monday it’s US$13.
I go home to see my kids
every couple of weeks.
Sometimes I’ll just go
and come back on the same day.
My daughter is three years old,
my son is almost two.
Their father is a drug dealer.
If I counted on him, I’d be screwed.
Sometimes I get visitors,
the rats.
They run around in the roof.
It drives me crazy.
I run out of here screaming.
Even when they’re asleep,
they annoy me.
They fall off the roof
onto the bed sometimes.
– Leaving already?
– Yes.
My daughter caught a fungus.
My mother also got the fungus.
The thing covered her foot.
It messed up her whole foot.
She ended up staying at home
and taking care of my kids.
– Where are you going?
– Home.
I would like
to take care of children.
I really love children,
my own as well as other people’s.
If it was up to me,
I’d open a day care center.
There are so many children.
Come here you beautiful thing.
How are you?
Come here you beautiful thing.
Give mommy a kiss!
Give me a kiss!
And you? Are you OK?
What’s going on?
And you? Are you OK?
Here is our kitchen.
It’s small, but you can still
make a little something in it.
We make food on that stove.
Here is the living room
where we put a bunc of junk.
The bathroom is here.
Oh this bathroom is bad,
cut the bathroom.
Here’s the bedroom.
This isn’t a bed,
it’s really just a chest of drawers.
We improvised
and put the mattress on top.
Everyone sleeps piled up here.
Here’s the most recent baby
of the house.
TV. Fan.
I moved here after
I split from their father.
He beat me and I got so hurt,
I had to get out of there.
And there was no other way
to survive, so I stayed here.
She is my eldest and she took
care of the kids so I could work.
We had to survive somehow.
After a while, we all had
to go to the garbage.
There was no one to leave them
with, so I brought them with me.
I moved in with their father
when I was twelve.
I’m proud of my work…
because at least I’m not involved
with the drug traffic…
or prostituting myself, like a lot
of pretty girls around here do.
They could be trying to achieve
something in life, but no.
They prefer to throw themselves
out there onto the street…
prostituting themselves.
Right there.
Magnetic tape.
Is that film?
Yes, there are a lot
of rolls up there.
I’m going to be Mona Lisa.
What’s that?
It has be a woman of a certain age
to wear shoes like that.
She must have worked
as an executive, right?
To work in a shoe
with a pointy toe like that?
Here’s a tape.
They must have a camera.
– A camera film.
– And they’ve got a computer.
This trash is totally
middle class.
Wait a minute, Playboy?
you are now part of an exclusive
club that receives Playboy…
the best men’s magazine
in the country.”
This guy liked…
And then he died.
This guy didn’t
have a lot of money.
This one here?
This comes from poor people
because it comes in little bags.
– “Poor is the trash of the poor.”
– I put my trash in little bags too.
To think you guys have
gone through my trash.
Actually I like this picture.
What we should do now
is get rid of…
is choose the best pictures.
This one.
So good.
Yeah, I love it too.
– How’s it going?
– What’s up?
How are you?
Everyone who goes to a museum,
goes up to a painting…
and then they stop
and start to go like this.
Have you seen this?
Everyone does it.
– Are they drunk?
– It looks like it.
They go like this,
and then they go back…
maybe take a little step back.
And then they see the image.
Imagine it’s a beautiful landscape
with a lake and a man fishing.
They look and see
the man fishing…
and they lean in an everything
vanishes and becomes paint.
They see the material.
They move away
and see the image.
They get closer
and see the material.
They move away
and see the idea.
They get closer
and see just the material.
Since we’re pickers,
we just see recyclable materials.
– It earns money.
– But that’s interesting…
You have one point of view.
I got it what this
can do with people.
I bet you people stay much longer
at your exhibits than anyone does.
They’ll spend so much time
looking at the image…
because then they’ll see
the ladder, the piano.
They’ll look at everything.
They’ll spend hours looking
at the same picture.
When one thing turns into another
is the most beautiful moment.
A combination of sounds
transforms into music.
And that applies to everything.
That moment is really magical.
Looks good.
You want to dress up
like mommy, in a sheet?
Let me see here. You’re going
to be just like a little saint.
You’re going to sit here.
Move your legs a bit, is that ok?
That’s it.
Didn’t it come out beautifully?
This whole area will be
filled in with stuff.
And it will be clearer
at the sides.
When you are placing the materials,
follow the shadows of the picture.
Did you just do this one?
Do the same thing
with the shorter one.
I want to close this here and see
if it makes more sense like that.
See this line going up…
Is there a way to take
something away here?
Take off one more.
That’s it.
Brooke de Ocampo, Isis.
– Hi, how are you?
– Suelen.
This is Magna.
– Hi.
– How are you?
Brooke has a super important job
at an international auction company.
So we’re going to make
a really big photograph of this.
And she’s already agreed
to take it to an international sale.
There’ll be a guy with a hammer,
going, going, going, gone.
I had just arrived from the bank
and given the money to Gloria.
I was standing by
the door and I saw him
and another man coming
towards us with a pointed gun.
They told us not to move.
And they took everybody’s wages.
How much money was there?
Six… US$6,000.
I keep asking myself
if it’s worth it.
And the comission?
Sometimes I just feel like
giving up on all of this.
I don’t want to be here anymore.
The presents are this small.
Try making it gradually darker from
here to here, does that make sense?
Good work everyone.
It came out beautifully!
That’s not garbage,
it’s recyclable material, it’s money.
A lot of money.
Oh man that’s crazy.
It looks exactly like me.
Oh, my! Man!
I never imagined
I’d become a work of art.
Take a look.
That’s me?
Yes ma’am, that’s your arm.
It’s this photo right here.
You’re looking in that direction…
– that’s your arm.
– I see.
Everything is made out of recyclable
materials from the landfill.
I see. How charming!
It’s so well done. Excuse me
while I have a look over here.
– Come on, come on, look.
– My God.
Let’s see if I understand it right.
Oh yes. I understand!
Here’s the arm.
I understand.
It’s all recyclable materials.
I bought this lot in 1963, and I
built this house with difficulty.
When I moved here it was dirt,
there were no paved roads, nothing.
There was no running water,
no sewage.
Thanks God, now it’s the opposite.
Today we have everything we need.
We got here with some difficulty,
but with dignity.
My grandmother brought me up…
because my mother…
had to work
at the phone company.
And my father
he worked at night…
he worked two shifts.
This is Ana Rocha…
the most important woman…
in my life.
She is 93 years old.
I told them
you were 70 years old.
That’s right.
I’m getting stiff from
lying in this position.
Artists have to suffer,
don’t you know?
Who told you that, Vik?
Honey, I just know.
I’m on the inside now.
Man, you’re becoming an artist.
It’s all Vik’s fault.
Vik’s made you conceited,
Vik and Fabio.
That’s what they keep
saying at home.
It changed a lot of things for me.
I don’t see myself
I the trash anymore.
I really don’t.
I don’t know.
I don’t want to go back
to the garbage. I don’t.
I told Fabio: Just let me stay.
Even if I only get US$150 a month.
But please just let me stay here.
I don’t want to go back
to the garbage.
A little more in profile.
The sad story is that I lost my son
when he was three years old.
I saw my son die when
he was three years old.
I was at the hospital
with him for three days.
I saw him dying.
Breathing his
last breaths and everything.
He had acute pneumonia.
He was throwing up
little pieces of his lungs.
They called me to identify my son’s
body. It was on top of a stone.
It was wrapped in black plastic…
with a big sign
with his name, Carlos Igor.
I fell over, I fainted.
I couldn’t believe that
it was my son.
I asked them to take the plastic off
because he was too hot.
After that my husband left me and
he took my daughter away from me.
She’s eight now,
when my son died she was two.
I never saw her again.
Not since she was two.
I forgot my life,
I forgot everything,
I forgot that I had a life,
a house, everything.
I started going out all the time.
The only thing I didn’t
do was do drugs, thank God.
But I started going out
and drinking and getting wasted.
I started drinking
moonshine all the time.
My son was so beautiful,
he was very beautiful.
I lost the last
photograph I had of him.
It was in my wallet
that was stolen.
But I don’t forget anything.
I don’t forget the tiniest details.
At the morgue,
there was a little ant crawling on
his face because of the flowers.
I made a scene to get that ant
off my son’s body.
I don’t forget a single detail
not a single, single one.
– Come my dear.
– Thank you.
I’ll print a photograph for you.
Isis, you’re not supposed to cry.
Come here.
Thank you.
– Did you like it?
– Yes.
Remember that first day
at Jardim Gramacho?
Did you think that that lunatic…
with the camera was going
to do something like this?
Not in my wildest dreams.
I don’t think if I was a catador
in Jardim Gramacho…
Got it.
A year of garbage has gone by.
Let’s go.
Here’s wisdom a plenty,
nineteen is not twenty.
99 is not 100.
Hi Vik.
It’s the Marat that’s going?
It’s going to be great.
I’m already dreaming
about being there.
I’m going to London,
and you’re not.
Hey what are you doing here man?
Check out that long hair!
There’s so much excess.
There’s so much excess
that it becomes art.
Check out the garbage bag.
Except you can’t open it,
it’s made of bronze.
Painted bronze.
Can you tell what’s in there?
There are definitely yogurt cups,
hearts of palm.
Some boxes.
Looks like someone bought a new
cell phone and threw away the box.
– It looks like I could just pick it up.
– It’s great.
This was made by a British artist
named Gavin Turk.
This guy is a really great artist too.
He used to sleep on the streets.
His name is Jean-Michel Basquiat.
This was done by the guy who is
the most expensive living artist,
Damien Hirst.
It’s a pharmacy.
Yeah, just drugs on a shelf.
Just drugs.
It will probably go for about
one million dollars.
Dermatological cream.
Are you nervous?
I’m really nervous.
Even when Botafogo plays
for the championship.
I don’t get this nervous.
Hold on.
The most important thing is
what you’re going to do with this.
It was all worth it. Everything I did
up until now was really worth it.
Why do you think you are here?
Because once a friend and I had
a dream of creating an association.
We created the association.
It was a crazy dream.
Nobody believed in us.
Not even my family.
Nobody believed in me.
This is only the beginning Tião.
This is only the beginning.
I am so happy.
Are you happy?
God was so good to me,
so wonderful.
You’re the strong one.
You are doing everything.
We sold it mom.
We sold it for US$50,000.
I feel like a pop star.
Now presenting Lenny Kravitz.
I want to propose a toast
to my boss.
– Thank you.
– Thank you.
Careful. This woman is red hot.
Tell me what’s changed for you.
I was married
and now I am separated.
But isn’t that bad?
Not at all. It’s wonderful.
I started to see myself.
Your own beauty?
No as a person really.
Because before I was
just like a little mule.
This job was great. It was really
good and important to me.
I knew how much I made.
We would weigh the material
every day.
We supposedly worked together,
but my share was always less.
He thought
But it doesn’t work like that.
That was the biggest
change in my life.
That’s what this job brought to me.
The will to change.
So that’s the story, this work
brought me this realization.
What did you think of modern art
before you went to the auction?
I used to think it was crap.
Why’d you think it was crap?
Because I think a lot of things
aren’t really art.
Why don’t you think it’s art?
Because you don’t get it?
Because I don’t get it and
it’s totally meaningless.
But do you think you have
to get it, for it to be art?
I think it has to communicate
something at least.
After you told me
the story about…
Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Yeah, I started liking
his stuff a lot more.
I began to understand his kind of
sinister style.
It’s a bit childish, like monsters.
I started to understand it
and I liked it.
But if you’re saying you liked
it better after you understood it…
then maybe we just don’t like
things we don’t understand.
Of course, you can dislike something
because you haven’t tried it.
For example, you were always
trying to explain what you were doing…
but I never understood.
Until you saw it?
I only understood it when Fabio
brought me up here.
Then I got what you
crazy people were up to.
Then I really got it.
The crazy people are
the ones who buy it.
They’re not crazy. It’s beautiful.
I’d buy it.
I’ll buy it someday.
I’ll buy my picture back.
– Bye Betania.
– Bye.
You look like you’re getting married.
Who would marry me?
That’s it.
Watch the glass.
Oh my God.
Look, it’s me.
So good.
I did the iron, remember?
I did this.
I did this.
Look it’s Zumbi.
It’s so beautiful.
Suelen. It’s so vibrant.
Look it’s you.
Check out the profile.
It’s beautiful.
Check out, Auntie.
I did this.
– You made the pot.
– I did this.
I was a picker at Jardim Gramacho.
I was picking garbage when they
asked me to work with them.
They liked my look, my style.
At that point,
I didn’t even know what this was.
It’s really worthwhile to work
on behalf of the pickers…
to become recognized as
an official sector…
of the recyclable
materials industry.
And it’s also worthwhile
becoming a work of art.
We support ourselves
with this material.
And we managed to transform
that material into art…
and into the opportunity to be
in the Museum of Modern Art.
I’ve never been to a museum.
I never dreamed there would
be a picture of me in a museum.
Sometimes we see
ourselves as so small…
but people out there see
us as so big, so beautiful.
There she is. You look so fancy.
Are you happy?
Very happy.
Don’t cry, Sister.
Now’s the time to be happy.
I’d rather want everything
and have nothing…
than have everything
and want nothing.
Because at least when you want
something your life has a meaning,
it’s worthwhile.
From the moment you think
you have everything
you have to search
for meaning in other things.
I spent half my life wanting
everything and having nothing.
And now I have everything and
I don’t want anything.
These days I’m starting to see
things in a simpler way.
I don’t have as much material
ambition as I used to.
When I was poor I only
wanted material things.
I just wanted to have things.
I had to buy a lot of crap
to get rid of that complex.
Monte Saint-Victoire.
I start thinking about…
how to help people
and all of a sudden…
I feel very arrogant.
Who am I to help anybody?
Because in the end…
I feel like I am being helped
more than they are.
I can’t believe it.
What’s this, man?
Hang this on these humble walls,
this work of art?
You can’t even
hang a picture right.
Check it out.
It’s your dad.
That’s it.
That’s beautiful.
Right next to my mother-in-law.
Look who’s it is.
Is it you?
I have to get a nail.
I’m shaking.
It’s so beautiful. It’s me, it’s me.
I love it.
You have no idea
what this means to me.
When I went to work there,
I was too ashamed to tell anybody.
I tried to hide it from my family
the best I could.
After I worked with Vik Muniz…
I went to everybody and
told them I worked at the landfill.
It was one of life’s consequences.
And I was no longer ashamed.
This image has traveled all over.
To China, Japan.
I didn’t go, but it did.
I’m famous out there.
When I saw it being made,
it was very big.
Now it got smaller.
In the studio it looked huge.
See if it’s good.
Here? Here?
Don’t scratch my picture.
The back doesn’t matter.
You did a good job Vik.
Now you’re famous in Santa Cruz.
They’re talking about you here.
– Did you do that?
– Yes, with everyone’s help.
Remember that big pot I had?
That’s the one they used.
You know how I became
famous all over the world?
Inside the garbage.
I started there almost
thirty years ago.
I like it there.
My life began there, thank God.
I’m famous worldwide
because of that place.
That’s where
everything started for me.
He is President of the Association of
Garbage Pickers of Jardim Gramacho.
And his portrait was a big success
at an auction in London.
Tião Santos.
At what age did you start working?
Since I was 11.
– Since you were 11. At the landfill?
– Yes, at the landfill.
– Can I just correct you on one point?

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