Normally documentaries are pretty much only useful for helping me to fall asleep. Except documentaries about fine artists. For some reason I love these. I’ve been watching them while I run on the treadmill and it really makes the time go by for me.
Since Netflix can read my mind and knows what I like to watch, it recommended the documentary Waste Land. I saw that it was about an artist (named Vik Muniz) working with some recyclers at a landfill and I didn’t expect it to be terribly good. I assumed that the film was thinly disguised propaganda for recycling. I was very wrong. Yes, there is a message about recycling, but it is more about recycling human lives and giving people hope. This was one of the best films I've seen this year and it was beautiful.
I wasn't familiar with Vik’s work, but I was very impressed with what I saw. His art holds a lot of interest in the interplay between the level of detail up close and in the idea or concept that can be seen from farther away. The way these two aspects of his art interact and then also knowing the stories of the people who were involved in the making of this art is what captivated me. The process was just as interesting as the finished product.
Even if you don’t like art, there are two important messages in this film that we all need to hear at one time or another and the film is worth watching for these:
1.) No matter how bad your life seems, it can ALWAYS be recycled into something beautiful.
2.) There is always hope when one person reaches out to another. We all have that ability to create hope for others.