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In Jakarta, Jeremy Irons launches '€˜Trashed'€™

  • Novia D. Rulistia

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Fri, November 15, 2013 | 01:08 pm
In Jakarta, Jeremy Irons launches '€˜Trashed'€™ ‘Trashed’: The documentary took Jeremy Irons to a host of different nations to examine how trash is managed – and mismanaged. (Courtesy of Blenheim Films)" border="0" height="341" width="511">‘Trashed’: The documentary took Jeremy Irons to a host of different nations to examine how trash is managed – and mismanaged. (Courtesy of Blenheim Films)

Mounting piles of garbage in landfills around the world are not going to go anywhere anytime soon, unless a change of habits to reduce waste starts to become the focus of society.

Trashed, a thought-provoking ecological documentary directed by Candida Brady, conveys that message, taking people along on the journey of Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons to places around the world where garbage has wrought environmental destruction.

As the film’s narrator and anchor, Irons begins his journey in Sidon, Lebanon, where he sees a 40-meter-high dump on a once-beautiful beach that has been ruined by waste that flows directly into the Mediterranean Sea.

Household, medical and chemical waste and even animal carcasses can be found there, showing the results of a lack of management of the landfillfor decades.

No one working at the site was willing to be interviewed by Irons except for a single worker from Palestine who said that there was no garbage on the beach when he first started working there 35 years ago.

Slowly, however, the beach became the local dump.

Irons’ next stop was Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, where he visited a landfill located near a school, and the site where a housing compound and a hospital will be built in the near future.

The 97-minute film also travels to other sites, including Beijing and New York, allowing the audience to see what happens to the garbage they have tossed away.

Up close: Jeremy Irons sits on the stage at the Erasmus Huis as he speaks with people who viewed the documentary Trashed. (Courtesy of Erasmus Huis)Up close: Jeremy Irons sits on the stage at the Erasmus Huis as he speaks with people who viewed the documentary Trashed. (Courtesy of Erasmus Huis)
Grim truths are revealed as Irons interviews scientists and experts, asking them to explain the consequences as the number and size of landfills around the world reach critical levels.

“Landfillling rubbish needs to be reduced significantly,” Irons says in the movie.

However, another method of waste disposal, incineration, does not automatically solve the waste issue due to the lethal chemicals released as trash burns.

Trashed reminds us of the devastating long-term effects of dioxin — a compound in the ash spewed from incinerators into the air — on human health.

The movie features images of Irons’ trip to a Vietnamese children’s hospital where the audience can also see long-term effects of Agent Orange — a defoliant that contains dioxin that was used by the US military to destroy crops, forests and vegetation during that nation’s war with Vietnam.

“I got drawn into this in the first place because my director [Brady] became concerned at the amount of man-made chemicals found in newborn babies,” Irons told a press conference during the movie’s Jakarta premier at Erasmus Huis in South Jakarta recently. “She did a lot of research and realized, not all of it but a lot of it, was coming from the dioxin from incinerators.”

In addition to looking at how inadequate waste management can harm the land and air, Trashed examines the impact of what happens when rubbish ends up in the rivers and seas.

Some footage shows the condition of the Ciliwung River in Jakarta, recently deemed one of the world’s foulest water sources, where people dump their waste into the river as others, just meters downstream, use the same water to drink and bathe.

“We shot some of the most shocking footage here in Jakarta,” Irons said. “I think it’s very relevant that the film is being seen by you here. I hope some of the images or some of the ideas will encourage you to spread the idea.”

At the end of the movie, Brady puts an end to the horror, giving people hope by showing some examples of combating garbage through safer disposal methods, such as recycling, anaerobic digestion that turns waste into compost and the elimination of unnecessary packaging by some businesses.

Question-and-answer: akarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was on hand for the screening, as was former president Megawati Soekarnoputri and Youth and Sports Minister Roy Suryo. (Courtesy of Erasmus Huis)

'€˜Trashed'€™: The documentary took Jeremy Irons to a host of different nations to examine how trash is managed '€“ and mismanaged. (Courtesy of Blenheim Films)

Mounting piles of garbage in landfills around the world are not going to go anywhere anytime soon, unless a change of habits to reduce waste starts to become the focus of society.

Trashed, a thought-provoking ecological documentary directed by Candida Brady, conveys that message, taking people along on the journey of Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons to places around the world where garbage has wrought environmental destruction.

As the film'€™s narrator and anchor, Irons begins his journey in Sidon, Lebanon, where he sees a 40-meter-high dump on a once-beautiful beach that has been ruined by waste that flows directly into the Mediterranean Sea.

Household, medical and chemical waste and even animal carcasses can be found there, showing the results of a lack of management of the landfillfor decades.

No one working at the site was willing to be interviewed by Irons except for a single worker from Palestine who said that there was no garbage on the beach when he first started working there 35 years ago.

Slowly, however, the beach became the local dump.

Irons'€™ next stop was Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, where he visited a landfill located near a school, and the site where a housing compound and a hospital will be built in the near future.

The 97-minute film also travels to other sites, including Beijing and New York, allowing the audience to see what happens to the garbage they have tossed away.

Up close: Jeremy Irons sits on the stage at the Erasmus Huis as he speaks with people who viewed the documentary Trashed. (Courtesy of Erasmus Huis)Up close: Jeremy Irons sits on the stage at the Erasmus Huis as he speaks with people who viewed the documentary Trashed. (Courtesy of Erasmus Huis)
Grim truths are revealed as Irons interviews scientists and experts, asking them to explain the consequences as the number and size of landfills around the world reach critical levels.

'€œLandfillling rubbish needs to be reduced significantly,'€ Irons says in the movie.

However, another method of waste disposal, incineration, does not automatically solve the waste issue due to the lethal chemicals released as trash burns.

Trashed reminds us of the devastating long-term effects of dioxin '€” a compound in the ash spewed from incinerators into the air '€” on human health.

The movie features images of Irons'€™ trip to a Vietnamese children'€™s hospital where the audience can also see long-term effects of Agent Orange '€” a defoliant that contains dioxin that was used by the US military to destroy crops, forests and vegetation during that nation'€™s war with Vietnam.

'€œI got drawn into this in the first place because my director [Brady] became concerned at the amount of man-made chemicals found in newborn babies,'€ Irons told a press conference during the movie'€™s Jakarta premier at Erasmus Huis in South Jakarta recently. '€œShe did a lot of research and realized, not all of it but a lot of it, was coming from the dioxin from incinerators.'€

In addition to looking at how inadequate waste management can harm the land and air, Trashed examines the impact of what happens when rubbish ends up in the rivers and seas.

Some footage shows the condition of the Ciliwung River in Jakarta, recently deemed one of the world'€™s foulest water sources, where people dump their waste into the river as others, just meters downstream, use the same water to drink and bathe.

'€œWe shot some of the most shocking footage here in Jakarta,'€ Irons said. '€œI think it'€™s very relevant that the film is being seen by you here. I hope some of the images or some of the ideas will encourage you to spread the idea.'€

At the end of the movie, Brady puts an end to the horror, giving people hope by showing some examples of combating garbage through safer disposal methods, such as recycling, anaerobic digestion that turns waste into compost and the elimination of unnecessary packaging by some businesses.

Question-and-answer: akarta Governor Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo was on hand for the screening, as was former president Megawati Soekarnoputri and Youth and Sports Minister Roy Suryo. (Courtesy of Erasmus Huis)Question-and-answer: akarta Governor Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo was on hand for the screening, as was former president Megawati Soekarnoputri and Youth and Sports Minister Roy Suryo. (Courtesy of Erasmus Huis)
The premier of Trashed in Jakarta was attended by Jakarta Governor Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo, former president Megawati Soekarnoputri and Youth and Sports Minister Roy Suryo.

When Irons asked Jokowi about the city'€™s waste management, the governor replied that Jakarta produced 6,000 tons of waste a day, 2,000 of which were thrown into the river. '€œThe most difficult task is how to change this habit. What is your suggestion?'€ Jokowi asked.

Irons replied that providing bins and options to dump their waste might be helpful.

The documentary was screened for the public as part of Erasmusindocs, the international documentary film festival that runs from Nov. 12 to 16, at the Erasmus Huis. Trashed will also be screened in 31 other cities in Indonesia.

Trashed, which had world premier at a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival last year, has since been featured at many film festivals, including the Tokyo International Film Festival, the Kyiv International Documentary Film Festival in Ukraine and the International Environmental Film Festival.

For more information about the film, visit blenheimfilms.com and for more information on Erasmusindocs, visit erasmusindocs.com.

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