Garbage Dreams

Teenage Wasteland: Doc Soup Screens Garbage Dreams

In Garbage Dreams, the March 17th installment of the Doc Soup screening series, filmmaker Mai Iskander follows three teen boys raised on the outskirts of Cairo - literally in a dump. Their community, the Zaballeen, has an economy that relies entirely on the collection, sorting, washing, and reselling of rubbish... and I thought opportunities were limited as a kid growing up in Northern Ontario.

Turns out some 60,000 Coptic Christians survive by recycling trash in Egypt. They go by the name Zaballeen (which translates to "garbage people"). They eat, sleep, play, work, and live surrounded by piles of garbage.

Although I've seen docs about this intriguing culture before, Mai Iskander (who will be present for a Q & A after the screening) takes on the subject with greater depth as a coming of age story. Shot over the course of four years, Garbage Dreams captures not only the Zaballeen lifestyle, but the formative teen years when these three boys are faced with taking responsibility for their families while the industry shifts their work to multinational garbage disposal companies.

Throughout the film, the grit and grind is tempered with the boys' hopes and dreams for the future.

And over at Hot Docs, there is only one Doc Soup screening left to warm us up for North America's largest documentary festival - kicking off on April 29, 2010. The documentary Box Office opens today on the lower level of Hazelton Lanes (55 Avenue Road). Early bird passes are available for one more week (until March 22, you get two additional tickets).

Oh, and the full 17th annual Hot Docs lineup with 170+ documentaries from Canada and around the world will be announced next Tuesday, March 23, 2010.

Garbage Dreams screens Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at the Bloor Cinema. Advance tickets for the 6:30 pm screening are now sold out, but may be available at the door on the night of the screening. Tickets for the 9:15 pm screening are $12 in advance online.


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