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Every so often I come across a project or a maker that stops me in my tracks and fills me with wonder and a reaffirmation of the power of making. Landfill Harmonic is one such project. The soon-to-be-released documentary tells the story of the people of Cateura, Paraguay, a barrio built on a landfill where residents eke out a living recycling and selling trash. But a local youth orchestra also makes beautiful music from instruments made from that same trash. If the trailer is any indication, the film looks fantastic. I got chills at 0:51 when the kid with the oil-can cello begins to play. Have a look.

Landfill Harmonic film teaser from Landfill Harmonic on Vimeo.

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.


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