New Film on Dump-Dwellers

June 8, 2009 at 11:10 am | Posted in News | 1 Comment

‰f‰æƒoƒX[ƒ‰‚oƒpƒ“ƒtJapanese film director Hiroshi Shinomiya shines a spotlight on dump-dwelling Filipino scavengers in his new documentary, Basura. According to Japan’s Mainichi Daily News, the film — set for a June 27 release in Japan — “is a sequel to the 51-year-old filmmaker’s two earlier documentary films on the impoverished residents of the ‘Smoky Mountain,’ the huge garbage dump in the Philippines also called Asia’s largest slum…. His earlier works — Scavengers: Forgotten Children and God’s Children, released in 1995 and 2001 respectively — depict the desperate lives of children scavenging through garbage, covered in flies, in order to support their families.”

Shinomiya told reporters that he wanted to change the children’s lives with the new film.

Some of the scavengers have moved into housing complexes since the first films were made. “Christina, now a mother of four, got pregnant and married at the age of 16. Her husband got out of scavenging and took a regular job, and the family was living a happy life; until unfortunately, he was fired…. Even former residents of Smoky Mountain who moved to the new housing are still forced to continue scavenging if they cannot find a regular job, and Shinomiya believes that the support of Japanese young people is essential to change the current status of the Philippines: ‘If young people cry out for change, even the Japanese government, one of the most influential in the world, cannot ignore it, and will take action,’ he said.”

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