Trash (2014) – “Because it is right.”


First time I heard about police violence in Latin America was when Mario, my fellow exchange student in Norway, blew our minds by talking about it. We were supposed to have a workshop about cultural learnings or something like that for two hours, but instead, we were listening to him talk more than any of us had ever heard him talk — he could barely speak English back then, but that didn’t stop him. It was intense. He spoke about the police being so corrupt that it hurts, how dehumanised they are, how the poor are treated as trash. This film, cleverly titled, is a testimony to that side of Brazil.

Trash is Mario. It is as captivating, as interesting, as powerful as his stories were. Whenever he slipped or was fumbling for a word was the only time we interrupted. It feels the same with TRASH — when the film stumbles around the middle, you’d just want to take Raphael’s hand (one of the main characters in the film, an intense kid. I love him so much!), help him up and ask for him to go on with the story. TRASH takes your breath away. I wish I could go and hug the film, assure that it’s doing the right thing, that it’s gorgeous, and ask for it to go on.


Because that’s what it is. Gorgeous. TRASH wins everything by being authentic: it resists the urge to patronize, instead we see fourteen year olds swimming in something that might burn your skin and laugh. The entire film is so colourful, so vivacious that it hurts. This enormous contrast with the emotion this film evokes — exhaustion, fatigue, it’s a risk, but it works out well for TRASH as where the film itself stumbles, the visuals and the fantastic score flow and take the center stage.

The ending must be the most beautiful thing about the film. It is what gets TRASH to haunt you, drags out the tear that you so ardously held on to for the entire film, that gives you hope that yes, you could be Rooney Mara or Martin Sheen and you would make a difference; just not before Brazilian kids who live in trash pull a feat that changes everything.

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In case you didn’t know yet, I am a critic for a film festival (Dark Nights’ Film Festival’s subfestival JustFilm) for the following two weeks and I have the amazing chance to see any film I want. I will use it as well as I can and try to translate a few reviews for this blog here and there, too. It’s day 2 and I’m already loving the experience!

20 responses to “Trash (2014) – “Because it is right.”

  1. wonderful post here Elina, just wonderful. Love seeing reviews for things like this as I find these types of films, while heartbreaking, utterly critical and things that more people need to be aware of. This one sounds really great. Love the concept of ‘Trash.’

    Have fun at the festival as well, that sounds like a great time.

  2. I look forward to more of your coverage. I hadn’t even heard of this film and now I really want to check it out! It kind of reminds me of Danny Boyle’s movie Millions from the description of kids coming across money.

  3. Thank you for this! Always interesting to see this topic being brought up to screen, like in Elite Squad or Bus 174. And please do tell us more about the festival and your being a critic for it 🙂 Have fun!

  4. Excellent review! This movie sounds fascinating, even more so with the story you told with it. Saving this in my Netflix queue immediately so I don’t forget!

  5. Great review! This film sounds fascinating, even more so with the story you told. I’m saving this film in my Netflix queue immediately so I don’t forget about it!

  6. So cool about the festival! I’ve been wondering where Mara was hiding, so I’ll definitely check out the movie

  7. Wow. This sounds heartbreakingly fantastic (if those words can actually be combined). I will keep a look out for it.

    And without trying to be a shitty teacher/huge dick in the least, let me say that this is easily one of the best reviews you have written. You’ve got some killer stuff right here.

    • Really? REALLY? Wow, thank you, mr.brown!!

      Looking forward to your review because I believe in you. You will get your hand on it. It had some hilarious moments which I’d love to relive on your blog.

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  9. This sounds awesome. I love films that counterbalance the tragedy in characters’ lives with surprising positivity, sounds like I would really enjoy this! Lovely write-up Elina!

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  11. Late to the party on this one but I only just saw it. Great write-up, interesting how your friend blew your minds by talking about the very real corruption. The youthful perspective made the gritty material even better IMO

    cheers 🙂

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