Emmanuel Pratt shares his perspective on the film Waste Land. Following the screening, he and Ines Sommer discuss the film.
Waste Land (Lucy Walker, 2010)
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. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Director Lucy Walker (Devil’s Playground, Blindsight and Countdown To Zero) and co-directors João Jardim and Karen Harley have great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit. Running time: 99 minutes
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Emmanuel Pratt is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Sweet Water Foundation and founding member of axilL3C. He is also Director of Aquaponics for Chicago State University and teaches courses within the College of Arts and Sciences. While most of his early work was anchored in the field of architecture, Pratt has since explored the role of art and interactive media as a key component of urban design, urban farming, and sustainability, with a particular concentration on the creation of new paradigms for 21st-century city planning. Pratt earned his B.Arch from Cornell University and his MS in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University, and he is presently a doctoral candidate in the Columbia University PhD Program in Urban Planning.
Ines Sommer is a filmmaker, film programmer, and educator, whose work ranges from documentaries to experimental and genre-crossing projects. Ines is the Associate Director of the new MFA in Documentary Media program at Northwestern University and the co-founding Executive Director of Percolator Films, a non-profit organization that has produced film events, series, and festivals with an emphasis on community engagement.
This program is presented in association with the Chicago International Film Festival and with support from ArcelorMittal.