Last year we saw very dramatic publicised protests against the spending of large amounts of public funds in Brazil, which were used towards organising the Brazilian 2014 World Cup. The tournament was said to have cost to the Brazilian government around $14 billion. These figures caused public outcry when more than 20% of Brazilians live in poverty. Stephen Daldry’s film Trash, which opened last year aimed to shed a spotlight on rampant corruption, injustice and police brutality, which is well hidden from tourists but very much present in Brazil.
Based on the book by Andy Mulligan; Trash tells the story of three boys who work collecting rubbish in a suburban landfill site outside Rio de Janeiro. Their lives take a dramatic turn when they discover a wallet hidden beneath the trash containing a code; unbeknownst to the boys it carries great significance and the potential to expose the dirty underworld of corruption and violence that plagues the city. The discovery changes the course of the three boy’s lives as they are catapulted on a quest to discover its purpose and reveal the truth buried beneath the code.
Their main opponent comes in the form of a crooked cop employed to find the wallet and return it to the corrupt politicians before it gets into the “wrong hands”. The adventure reveals the hardship of life in the favelas of Brazil and how it comes cheap. There is a strong moral undercurrent throughout showing the determination and strong will when someone has a purpose to do “the right thing”. It is a roller-coaster of emotion, sometimes sad, sometimes funny and holds nothing back.
The cast played great performances with exceptional children in the lead roles. Selton Mello and Wagner Moura were also captivating and of course Martin Sheen was excellent as the foreign priest in the favela. The film is another unveiling of the seedy corruption that tarnishes South America but gives hope that there are those who are willing to stand in defiance against the forces that betray the common good.
It is a highly recommended watch!