Documentary ‘Waste Land’ screens in Avon Thursday |

Documentary ‘Waste Land’ screens in Avon Thursday

Daily staff report
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/Vik Muniz

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This is the message embodied in the film “Waste Land.” This documentary, nominated for an Academy Award, is about more than recycling – it’s about creating beauty in the face of adversity.

The Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability will host a screening of the film Thursday night at Loaded Joe’s in Avon as part of the “First Thursday Film Series.”

“Waste Land,” a profoundly moving film, chronicles Brooklyn-based artist Vik Muniz on his ambitious journey to document life at an enormous landfill in Rio de Janeiro. There, the Brazilian-born artist photographs the catadores, pickers of recyclable materials, and transforms their photos into poignant portraits created with recyclable materials. The Huffington Post wrote “‘Waste Land’ is a heart-warming tale of human dignity and innovation.”

“We decided to show this film because we like to help people recycle, but we love to get the message out that reducing the amount of trash you create has an even greater environmental impact,” said Tracy Andersen, director of the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability. “When you see the colossal mountain of trash on the big screen, you can’t help but want to produce less of it in your own life.”

The film shows how our discarded materials can have resplendent second lives. Rather than tossing things away, we can often reuse them, and thus reduce our waste stream.

“In addition,” said Andersen, “we wanted to show a film that is hopeful. When you think about the environment and the multitude of threats to our land, water and air, the tendency is to get depressed. Yet ‘Waste Land’ delivers an uplifting message and turns what we perceive as ugliness into art.”

This series, organized by the Alliance, Slow Food Vail Valley and Loaded Joe’s, runs through August and focuses on environmental issues.

“We love doing community-oriented events and this is one of the reasons we started Loaded Joe’s back in 2004,” said Brant Olsen, general manager.

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