Recycling on a ‘Harmonic’ scale

Jan 12, 2018
Nicolas “Cola" Gomez, a brilliant garbage picker of the trash dump of Paraguay’s capital city, worked with local musician Favio Chávez to make instruments from trash. Children make beautiful music with the results in the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura.

Rockland — Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St., will present a screening of the documentary film “Landfill Harmonic” (2015, Paraguay/Norway/Brazil/USA) Thursday, Jan. 25, at 6:30 p.m. in the downstairs Community Room. Admission is free.

The film, which runs 84 minutes, was directed by Brad Allgood and written by executive producer Alejandra Amarilla. “Landfill Harmonic” follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical group that plays instruments made entirely out of garbage, when their story goes viral and the orchestra is catapulted into the global spotlight.

Under the guidance of idealistic music director Favio Chavez, the orchestra must navigate a strange new world of arenas and sold-out concerts. However, when a natural disaster strikes their community, he must find a way to keep the orchestra intact and provide a source of hope for its town.

The film is a testimony to the transformative power of music and the resilience of the human spirit. Its story develops in one of the poorest slums in Latin America. Just outside Asuncion, Paraguay’s capital, Cateura comprises the city’s trash dump, built on a landfill. Here, people live, and from, a sea of garbage. The people of Cateura may be the poorest of the poor, but they are proud … and the life of their slum is vibrant.

The Thursday Film Series is hosted by the Friends of the Rockland Library. In addition to watching great films, viewers are able to enter a drawing for books related to the movie's topic or theme donated by the Friend's Book Stop. For more information, call 594-0310 or visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

The Recycled Orchestra of Cateura
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