The Common Good
January 2011

Five (More) Must-See Social Justice Documentaries From 2010

by Claire Lorentzen | January 2011

1. Dive! The United States throws out 263 million pounds of food per day, much of which is perfectly good to eat.

1. Dive! The United States throws out 263 million pounds of food per day, much of which is perfectly good to eat. Through the adventures of dumpster divers, Dive! brings us into America’s dumpsters and to those who are “living off of America’s waste,” while eating disturbingly well without spending a penny.

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2. Inside Job uncovers the financial meltdown of 2008. It brings us back to the Reagan era and then into Wall Street, Washington, and the personal lives of billionaires in order to expose “the story of a crime without punishment, of an outrage that has so far largely escaped legal sanction and societal stigma.”

3. Climate Refugees: Reviewed earlier this year on the God’s Politics Blog, Climate Refugees “deserves distinction for cordially introducing its viewers to the existence of climate refugees, or the 25 million people who have already been forced out of their homes because of devastating changes in their normal climate.”

4. Waste Land: Currently in theaters, Waste Land takes us to the world’s largest landfill located outside of Rio de Janeiro and the “pickers” who live off of and among the trash. Despite exposing these realities, Waste Land manages to be an uplifting and inspirational story. It focuses on the relationships Brazilian artist Vik Muniz makes with the community of “pickers,” while he creates large-scale installations and photographs of their environment.

5. Reparando brings us to Guatemala as the filmmakers reveal, over 50 years later, the after-math of civil war. A large percentage of the film’s proceeds (80 percent) will be donated to Guatemalan NGO’s who are working of restoration projects, as the filmmakers mission is to “embrace the pain of their past to repair the next generation.”

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