Garbage Dreams

Mai Iskander, USA / Egypt, 2009, color, HDcam, 79'
Synopsis

The Zabbaleen people are trash collectors and proud of it. This community of around 60,000 Coptic Christians inhabits a suburb of Cairo. For generations, they have been collecting, sorting, processing and recycling the trash this metropolis produces. They see it not as waste, but as a way of life. The arrival of foreign refuse companies using "modern" trucks and dumps is a threat to this people's continued survival. Suddenly, they are being forced to fight for their trash and it seems there is no future for the young generation. Garbage Dreams follows three Zabbaleen boys as they each find their own ways to deal with the new challenges facing them -- by either working harder or joining their rivals. Meanwhile, a social worker named Laila, whose roots are in the Zabbaleen community, tries to make her people aware of the risks of working with refuse and to solve the problem of their diminishing incomes. Almost poetic imagery combines with interviews with the boys and Laila to contrast the closely knit Zabbaleen community with the indifference of the city.

Wanted: Youth Jury! September 30, 2014 | Every year, a selection of films from the IDFA program compete for the IDFA DOC U Award, given out by a youth jury. Do you want to have a say about the winner, and are you between 15 and 18 years old? Then apply now!
IDFA 2014 presents theme program Of Media and Men September 23, 2014 | A theme program investigating the mediated interaction between the people and their governments will be presented at IDFA 2014. Of Media and Men encompasses a film program, several new media projects in IDFA DocLab and a Paradocs program curated by visual artist Aernout Mik.
In Memory of George Sluizer September 22, 2014 | With great sadness IDFA has learned of the death of Dutch cineast George Sluizer at the age of 82. Sluizer was a prominent voice in Dutch and international film culture, working both in documentary and in fiction.
IDFA relocates festival heart to Amstel September 16, 2014 | This year’s IDFA will for the first time be focused around the Amstel river. The main festival locations Pathé Tuschinski, Pathé de Munt, EYE and De Brakke Grond remain, but the festival buzz will move to Café de Jaren and Café Swych on Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Doelenstraat.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

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