Programmed by The Douarnenez Festival team
The documentary’s theme is the financial activity behind the recycling of metal objects that are “disposed” by the average consumer of a large city, collected by fringe groups who unconsciously are the kingpin of a gigantic mechanism of wealth. Through five ragmen, the documentary explores the backstage of consumerism and follows the invisible journey of metal that ends up as “Raw Material”.
This 16mm film presents the laborious work of Athens’ metal and "garbage collectors". They are Roms, illegal refugees who neither speak Greek nor live according to the norms of the Western world. The members of this vast army of desperados are both the film’s raw material and its heroes. The State, intermediaries, eco-entrepreneurs and industrialists seize produced wealth, whilst politicians consider them as "the thieves of our European prosperity". From the waste bins to the toxic dumps of central Athens, up to the foundry ovens of a bombarded refugee camp in Lebanon, the metal they collect becomes the basis of the nonsensical world in which we all live. "Raw Material" follows in the footsteps of this band of hunter-gatherers in modern Europe. It documents their labour in the scalding heat and the icy snow that penetrate the bodies of these heroes and heroines – their indelible images infiltrating the spectator’s mind.
The Douarnenez Festival team