RS

In development

Bottlemen

Flašaroši

Every day more than a thousand tons of waste are being disposed at the Vinča landfill. After forty years of its existence, this very site - once a capstone of the European Neolithic, has now become a toxic landscape made of garbage hills over fifty meters high.

The archaeological site has never been relocated, but simply buried under what we could call “an archaeological site of the 21st century” - a true mirror of contemporary lifestyle shaped by the overconsumption. This vast landscape is a workplace for a community of raw material collectors - people from the margin, whose survival entirely depends on rapidly changing waste management economy.

The major group on the landfill is comprised of one hundred plastic bottle collectors, called the Bottlemen. Through intimate portraits of its members, we get to know this group, led by Janika - a former boxer, who initially came to the landfill determined to make money in order to “turn his luck around” and buy a house for his family. Yet, the more time the bottlemen spend on the landfill, the more intertwined their lives and destinies become with the destiny of the landfill itself. Like the inextinguishable fire raging below its surface, the lives that bottlemen left behind don’t stand still. Their families move on, circumstances change and the landfill slowly becomes their new home and their prison at the same time. They continue working on “autopilot”, often forgetting the reason why they came in the first place. We witness the ups and downs of this group and the eventual break up of their friendship that will leave Janika working all alone.

Faced with the imminent privatization of the landfill, an entire community of bottlemen is brought to a dead end, trapped in the gap between technological modernization and inadequate social care system. While the environmental impact of the landfill’s modernization is unknown, the fragile community of collectors will have to face the uncertain destinies on their own.
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