Garbage Dreams.

Among many of the reasons I wanted to attend SXSW, was the premiere of Garbage Dreams, a documentary about teenage garbage recyclers of Egypt. I am hopeful that this documentary will be successful and I will be able to view it in my state. {Yes, I would travel almost anywhere in Florida to view it.}
Filmed over four years, Garbage Dreams follows three teenage boys- Adham, a bright precocious 17-year-old; Osama, a charming impish 16-year-old; Nabil, a shy artistic 18-year-old-born into trash trade and growing up in the world's largest garbage village, a ghetto located on the outskirts of Cairo. It is a world folded onto itself, an impenetrable labyrinth of narrow roadways camouflaged by trash; it is home to 60,000 Zaballeen (or Zabbaleen), Egypt's "garbage people."

For generation's, the residents of Cairo have depended on the Zaballeen to collect their trash, paying them only a minimal amount for their garbage collection services. The Zaballeen survive by recycling the city's waste. These entrepreneurial garbage workers recycle 80% of all the garbage they collect, creating what is arguably the world's most efficient waste disposal system.

When the city they keep clean suddenly decides to replace the Zaballeen with multinational garbage disposal companies, the Zaballeen community finds itself at a crossroads. Face to face with the globalization of their trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community.

Please support this film in any way you can. Thanks!



Pure Green Design said...

Wow - I haven't heard about this until now, but it sounds amazing. I saw another movie similar to this (about the end of a way of life) called 'Red Gold' and I had tears in my eyes the entire time. In my town we have a theater that shows alternative films such as this. Businesses can sponsor the showings...I'm opening a new eco building supply and home store called Sustain...maybe I'll lobby to bring this film to Muskoka and offer to sponsor it. It would be a great way to introduce my business to the community. We're passionate about recycling here - my district has one of the best recycling programs in Canada. Thank you for profiling this film!

Green {Goody} said...

I hope you are able to bring this film to your area, that would be awesome. And if you send me to tickets to Canada, I would even attend! :)

Anonymous said...


'Garbage Dreams' was chosen as the REEL Current Award Winner by Al Gore because it provides extraordinary insight into a contemporary issue.

AL GORE says of the film:
"'Garbage Dreams' is a moving story of young men searching for a ways to eke out a living for their families and facing tough choices as they try to do the right thing for the planet. Mai Iskander guides us into a 'garbage village,' a place so different from our own, and yet the choices they face there are so hauntingly familiar. Ultimately, 'Garbage Dreams' makes a compelling case that modernization does not always equal progress."

Visit the film's website at