Five short docs from Jan Ijäs’s Waste series screened at Watch Docs IFF

Five short documentary films from Jan Ijäs’s ongoing Waste series are screened at Watch Docs International Film Festival. Held from December 7–14 in Warsaw, the festival focuses on human rights in film.

The screenings of Ijäs’s “Waste” films take place on Sunday, December 10, at 17:00 and on Monday, December 11, at 18:30. The five documentaries are:

Waste no. 1 Money (2017, 17:00)

Inflation has resulted in the Zimbabwe dollar completely losing its value. Banknotes are literally recyclable goods, turned into tablecloths and lampshades, for example. In the Harare slums, which are rife with crime, valuable US dollar banknotes must be concealed in clothing, which means that the notes quickly become breeding grounds for bacteria. According to money launderers, dollar bills can best be gently hand washed with Omo detergent in warm water.

Waste no. 2 Wreck (2016, 09:51)

Wreck was filmed in 2014 and 2015 in the graveyard for refugee boats on the Italian island of Lampedusa. It is a story about how the value of garbage and rubbish can surprisingly change.

Waste no. 3 Boom (2017, 17:00)

Boom was shot in Kittilä in northern Finland, in a ‘lunar landscape’ on top of a hill where the Finnish armed forces annually disposes of expired explosives. Calculations show that detonation is the least expensive method of disposal. During a week­long camp a total of 1.2 million kg of explosives are destroyed. The explosion safety area is seven kilometres. The explosion produces a mushroom cloud that reaches up to the lowers clouds and creates a crater about ten metres deep and thirty metres across.

Waste no. 4 Two Islands (2013, 05:50)

Two Islands is a film about two enormous waste dumps in Staten Island and Hart Island, NYC. One is a now closed landfill, which at one point was the largest in the world, the other is a cemetary of unidentified people, still in use. Two Islands bluntly asks: what does the existence of these two huge mountains of economic and social waste tell about our civilization, and what kind of legacy will the archaeologists see in them when they are studying these a few centuries from now?

Waste no. 5 The Raft of the Medusa (2017, 18:00)

Le radeau de la Méduse parallels the wrecked boats of the African immigrants on the Italian Lampedusa island and the abandoned cars of asylum seekers that have travelled from Russia to Salla, Finnish Lapland with Théodore Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa (1818–1819), located in Louvre. Based on true events, the subject of the painting is the 1816 shipwreck of Méduse, a frigate with administrative personnel on their way from France to African colonies. The passengers of the ship rescued on a raft they built and left drifting on the open sea with fatal consequences. Over the years, the painting has become a universal symbol for both despair and hope.

Ijäs: Waste no. 3 Boom (2017)

Media artist and filmmaker Jan Ijäs lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. Ijäs works with documentary, fiction and alternative film. The films of Ijäs deal with serious and difficult social themes, like migration into foreign and hostile societies. Ijäs’s films have been shown very widely abroad by over a hundred film festivals and as installations in museums and galleries.

Watch Docs IFF, 7.–14.12.2017, Warsaw, Poland

More information: Watch Docs