Review of Trash

Trash (I) (2014)
much better than the truly awful Billy Elliott but...
28 September 2015
When I saw that Stephen Daldry directed this it was enough to put me off watching it.'s well put together, well shot, edited, scripted and the young leads are superb. The poverty porn is problematic, the shots of the waste dump are aesthtically pleasing, the shots of the favela likewise. Films and other texts like this one can serve to assuage those of us living in relatively privileged conditions that actually for people living in abject poverty, well, you know, life isn't so bad at all. There's a stronger sense of community and people get on and look after one another. If you want a proper, serious, grown up film with a Latin American spin about poverty and what it does to people then look elsewhere to Pixote from 1981 or Luis Bunuels's Los Olvidados from 1946. If there's a better film than Los Olvidados on the subject out there I'd like to know what it is. All that said, I was entertained by this, I liked the points the film made about corruption on the part of the police and politicians, I liked the way it foregrounded street children as characters. Another more serious film about street children is Ali Zouaua made about 2002 in Morocco featuring a cast of Casablancan street urchins. Trash is a great movie to show young teens to get them thinking about global issues or as an introduction to world cinema but for serious social commentary one needs to look elsewhere.
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