Scrap @ Hot Docs

Learn via Stacey Tenenbaum’s film that scrapyards are actually very interesting and more complex places than they appear to be at first glance. Filled with crushed cars, rusty metal and all kinds of other abandoned objects, scrapyards are largely thought of as repositories of useless articles. Things we no longer have any use for. Here our view of these places or things is challenged. We are asked to see the beauty and potentiality in these discarded objects. Also to rethink how we overconsume and then just throw things away when we are bored with them or they don’t work as we wish anymore.

In our largely consumer driven world, we are encouraged to buy, buy and buy. When articles like televisions, cell phones, appliances, and even cars are deemed obsolete or they break down (as they are manufactured to do after a short life) they end up in landfills. There it can take centuries for them to break down. As the population has grown and the amount we consume has gone up the amount of landfill space has virtually disappeared. What are we to do with what we throw away nowadays?

This doc introduces us to people who are attempting to do something with what people throw away. A farmer in South Dakota who uses discarded and rusted metal farm machinery and makes cool sculptures out of it. Some people living on the outskirts of Bangkok live in the rusting shells of airplanes. The highly recognizable red phone booths all over Britain are being brought back to life. Some freighter ships are being transformed into impressive pieces of architecture. The possibilities seem endless. There just has to be the recognition that these discarded things are damaging the planet and a will to do something with or about it.

Ever since the Industrial Revolution the idea of waste not, want not has certainly not been followed by people living in the richer countries. To the detriment of the planet. This is a film that takes a look at what is largely an ecological issue. Another one we have to address…quickly.

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