Chibi Japan Expo 2009 - Cosplay - 35There are a lot of hypotheticals going into this recommendation. If you:

a) are not interested in waiting in line with a bunch of overenthusiastic teenage girls dressed in their leftover skanky Hermione costumes just to see half of a film;

b) for some reason don’t plan on getting hammered in preparation for Cal hammering Stanford on the morrow;

c) would prefer to spend your Friday evening watching an award-winning documentary, thank you very much; and

d) expect said documentary to offer “stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit” …

Well, by Jove, we can actually help you out, you persnickety bastard.

Today marks the Bay Area opening of Lucy Walker’s “Waste Land,” an investigative look at Brazil’s Jardim Gramacho, the biggest garbage dump in the world. The focus lies primarily with the dump’s inhabitants—”pickers” who live off the detritus of others—and the artistic means with which they treat the waste in order to achieve transcendence (we assume).

The title in and of itself should serve as an indication of the existential overtones of what has been described as “the Slumdog Millionaire of documentaries.” That being said, we’re definitely not hating. It sounds pretty fantastic, and you will probably find us at Landmark Shattuck Cinemas later this weekend, nursing an epic hangover whilst rejuvenating our souls.

Image Source: fabnol under Creative Commons
WASTE LAND Opens Friday, November 19 in San Francisco & Berkeley [Arthouse Films
Earlier: Study When the Stacks Are Closed