Film Preview: Marina of the Zabbaleen - A Young Girl Garbage Collector


Marina of the Zabbaleen. Credit Tom Toro

Visit Muqattam -- the garbage recycling village in Cairo, Egypt -- through the eyes of seven-year-old Marina. Her vision of flying elephants, mystical pigeons, and evil witches "transforms a squalid landfill village into a beautiful, dream-like portrait of family, childhood, and spirituality," says Engi Wassef, director of Marina of the Zabbaleen. Click through to view the trailer and for upcoming one week screening details in New York and L.A. Marina of the Zabbaleen Trailer Courtesy of Torch Films

Egypt's Pig Cull Disrupts the Zabbaleen's Profession
The Zabbaleen are a Coptic Christian community of recyclers who reside in Cairo, Egypt. Their main profession is collecting and disposing of the city's waste through reusing and recycling materials and feeding food waste to livestock - mainly pigs. Due to the outbreak of swine flu the Egyptian government ordered the culling of the country's pigs. A majority of these pigs were raised by the Zabbaleen and used in the first stage of recycling the thousands of tons of organic waste generated daily in Cairo. The future of these garbage collectors is now unclear as they have lost an integral part of their garbage disposal system.


Marina of the Zabbaleen. Credit Marina the Movie
Awards and Screenings
The film debuted at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival -- with sold out screenings -- and is the winner of the Dubai International Film Festival Silver Muhr Documentary Award for Best Documentary. Presented by Torch Films the film has screenings in New York City at the ImaginAsian Theater (239 E. 59 St.) from September 11-17, 2009, and Los Angeles, California at the Laemmle Grande (345 S. Figueroa St.). The DVD is currently available at Torch Films.

Torch Films Green Release
Torch Films hopes to set a global standard for an environmentally and socially responsible independent motion picture release. Marina of the Zabbaleen is available on Flex DVD which -- according to Torch Films -- uses 50% less polycarbonate plastic material than traditional DVDs and produces 50% less CO2 in manufacturing. Soy-based inks will be used for all printing purposes, and DVD packaging will be made with 95% recycled and 100% recyclable materials.

Visit Marina the Movie to learn more.

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Tags: Documentaries | Los Angeles | New York City | Recycling