The Touching Story Behind Paraguay’s Landfill Orchestra: Now Told in Film, and Soon a Book

Back in 2012, I first told you about the amaz­ing youth cham­ber orches­tra from Cateu­ra, Paraguay. The fam­i­lies from this small impov­er­ished town, locat­ed along­side a vast land­fill, can’t afford many lux­u­ries — like buy­ing instru­ments for their kids. But what they lack in mon­ey, they make up for in inge­nu­ity and good spir­it. The short doc­u­men­tary above gives you a glimpse of their touch­ing sto­ry, show­ing how cre­ative lead­ers in the com­mu­ni­ty fash­ioned instru­ments with their own hands, turn­ing oil cans into cel­los, and alu­minum bowls into vio­lins. Watch them in action:

But why stop with the short sto­ry, when you can get the longer sto­ry. Last week, a full blown film called Land­fill Har­mon­ic pre­miered at the SXSW Film Fes­ti­val 2015. And now the film (see a short trail­er here) will be screened at select­ed film fes­ti­vals while the pro­duc­ers try to find a dis­trib­u­tor who can bring the pro­duc­tion to a wider audi­ence. And, in anoth­er piece of good news, Simon & Schus­ter announced that it plans to pub­lish a pic­ture book about the Recy­cled Orches­tra. Look for Ada’s Vio­lin: The Sto­ry of the Recy­cled Orches­tra of Paraguay in March 2016.

You can watch Land­fill Har­mon­ic at the fes­ti­vals men­tioned below. To keep tabs on future show­ings, fol­low this Face­book page.

  • New York Children’s Film Fes­ti­val March 21, 2015
  • Envi­ron­men­tal Film Fes­ti­val DC March 25, 2015
  • TIFF Kid’s Film Fes­ti­val April 10 – 17, 2015

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