Recycled Life

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  • 2005
  • 38 min
  • 7.6  (121)

Recycled Life is a 2006 documentary film about the lives of Guatemalan people working at the Guatemala City garbage dump. The film is directed by Leslie Iwerks and produced by Mike Glad and Christina DeHaven. The documentary follows the lives of several families who live and work at the dump, including a young girl who lives with her family in a shack made of cardboard and scrap metal, a mother and son who work collecting garbage, and a group of men who work sorting recyclable materials.

Throughout the film, viewers witness the harsh conditions of living and working at the dump, as well as the dangerous work that the people must do in order to survive. We see children roaming around the garbage piles, looking for items they can resell, while adults climb on top of mounds of trash, looking for scraps of metal and other materials that can be sorted and sold.

The film also explores the environmental impact of the dump, as well as the lack of proper infrastructure for garbage disposal in Guatemala. As we see the massive piles of garbage looming over the city, we hear about the health risks associated with living near the dump, and the efforts of activists and politicians to improve the situation.

One of the most powerful aspects of the film is its intimate look at the lives of the people who work at the dump. Through interviews and observational footage, we see their struggles, their joys, and their resilience in the face of adversity. We hear about their hopes and dreams, as well as their fears for the future.

In addition to the powerful storytelling, Recycled Life also features stunning cinematography that captures the beauty and pain of life at the dump. The camera lingers on the piles of trash, the makeshift homes, and the faces of the people who inhabit this world, creating a sense of intimacy and connection between the viewers and the subjects of the film.

The film concludes with a message of hope, as we see the efforts of activists and politicians to improve the situation at the dump. We also see the people who work at the dump forming a community and supporting each other in their struggles, which serves as a reminder of the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

Overall, Recycled Life is a powerful and moving documentary that sheds light on a part of the world that is often hidden from view. Through its intimate portraits of the people who live and work at the Guatemala City garbage dump, the film offers a poignant commentary on poverty, environmentalism, and the human experience. Edward James Olmos's narration adds weight and gravitas to an already impactful documentary that is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on its viewers.

Recycled Life
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    38 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (121)