(99) Wasteland the Movie

Is now available streaming on Netflix

with the great line around 28:00 about recycling one can – why? Because 99 is not 100.

Okay so I know I am writing as I am watching, but one thing which strikes me which I mentioned earlier in the semester vis a vis the student doc on the trash scavengers in Ha Noi, is how there can be this happiness, this joy, this sense of community … I obviously do not want to Romanticize this nor deny the suffering, but when joy happens it confirms what the one fellow says driving to the dump (to paraphrase) “it’s better to be poor and without shame than rich without morals.” That itself is also not necessarily only what it seems, but having spent a fair amount of time in the higher end workspaces of the USA – they are pretty lifeless compared to what I see in this movie. It is disturbing to think that spontaneous celebrations, community, and solidarity among workers are not productive practices within society, thbut rather are pushed to the dump where such is allowed to exist. Agsin, when the night picker says she is working honestly, it requires some critical thought, but unlike Kenneth Lay I think she believes it …

Okay well now this is the subjhect of the movie “I mistakenly thought they were happy … denial”  Okay – time to watch and not comment

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3 Comments»

  cindypound wrote @

great news that its available on netflix. thanks for the heads up! i’ll watch it this weekend.

  jennykane324 wrote @

This same problem of not romanticizing a way of life comes up in Manufactured Landscapes also — when I looked at some of the DVD extras there was a whole scene about the old neighborhoods in Shanghai that were being razed for the high rise developments. (and a bit more explanation about the real estate woman — the photographer had met her on a previous trip – who was so over the top.) The old way of life and the sense of community are lost in the soul-less redevelopment — but as the director points out, the old neighborhood didn’t have proper sewage, water or electricity. But were the people happier? These scenes were filmed totally on the fly as the gov’t ‘handler’ wouldn’t allow them into the neighborhood which seems to suggest that what the govt was doing and what the people living there wanted were dramatically different. This was also apparent in another scene of the city being destroyed for the dam.
( I couldn’t help thinking of Robert Moses and his “urban renewal”.)

I would highly recommend the dvd extras with the director’s commentary as they give a much richer picture and address some of the questions we had.

  99hooker wrote @

Hey Jenny – thanks for the info – just picked it up tonight. I really appreciated the engagement with the commodification of disadvanatge in “Waste Land” which I felt was not as foregrounded in the main edit for “Manufactured Landscapes” (nor “Born in the Brothels” for that matter). Will check the DVD extras out. Thx


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