Landfill Harmonic follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical youth group who live next to one of South America’s largest landfills. This unlikely orchestra plays music using instruments made entirely out of garbage. When their story goes viral, the orchestra is catapulted into the global spotlight.
With the guidance of their music director, they must navigate a new world of arenas and sold out concerts. However, when a natural disaster devastates their community, the orchestra provides a source of hope for their town. This unforgettable film acts as a testament to the transformative power of music and a call to action for two of the most troubling issues of our times: poverty and waste pollution.
In the midst of such an existence, these musicians have created something both special and truly awe-inspiring. “My life would be worthless without music.” says one girl in pigtails. A young man named Juan Manuel Chavez, nicknamed Bebi, has a cello fashioned out of an oil can and old cooking tools. For the camera, he plays the Prelude to Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 — beautifully.
– Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR
USA, Paraguay, 2015
Directed by Brad Allgood, Graham Townsley
Cinematography by Brad Allgood, Neil Barrett
Editing by Brad Allgood, Virginia Quesada
Music by Michael A. Levine
Running time: 84 mins