Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Leslie Iwerks, documentarist granddaughter of famed animator and Disney collaborator U.B. Iwerks, helms the 38-minute muckraking nonfiction film Recycled Life. In this sobering, haunting work, Iwerks and her team carry their cameras into The Guatemala City Garbage Dump, Central America's most toxic landfill, where thousands of indigenes ('guajeros') have lived, worked and eaten for well over six decades, ostracized by Guatemalan society. Iwerks and co. meet the residents and evaluate the devastating health effects that the conditions continue to have on the populace, contrasting this with the inner grace, stoicism, resilience, and sense of humor that the residents continue to project in the face of calamity. The filmmakers also trace the effects of a devastating cataclysm from January 2005, that made the already-reprehensible conditions absolutely unbearable. Iwerks directs, photographs, and edits; Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actor Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver, American Me) narrates.