Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, September 9: LANDFILL HARMONIC
Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley’s profile of a Paraguayan children’s orchestra premiered at SXSW last year, where it won an audience award. Screenings followed at Sheffield, New Zealand, Vancouver, Cleveland, DocAviv, and AFI Fest, among several others.
In a poor community based around a Paraguayan landfill, an environmentalist works with local recyclers to build musical instruments out of garbage and form a music school for horribly underprivileged kids. When a clip of a performance of their Recycled Orchestra goes viral, the group finds themselves in an unexpected spotlight. Offered the opportunity to travel around the world to perform, the orchestra members awaken to possibilities beyond their present environment, while their community takes pride in their achievements. Despite this, they must contend with a hazardous environment, underscored when a flood threatens their homes. Allgood and Townsley succeed in crafting sufficient feel-good inspiration from this audience-friendly material, even if it never quite transcends expectations.