Film Review - Scrap (2022)

Title card for Scrap documentary. Image of rusting trolley cars covered in moss and graffiti.

Not many people think about what happens to the things that get thrown into the trash or items abandoned after they are no longer of use to us. Many of us were taught about the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) starting in the late 80’s but some 40 years later are we really doing enough to combat waste in the world? It seems like now more than ever the things we buy break down faster. On top of that, capitalism has made us feel like we constantly need the newer faster fancier model of whatever and that definitely adds to the waste we create.

There’s a new documentary coming out by Montreal writer, director and producer Stacey Tenenbaum, called ‘Scrap’ that takes a look at scrap yards around the world of all kinds, from cars to boats to airplanes and so much more and what people are doing with the waste found in these scrap yards.

“We consume and we discard, but we don’t really think about what happens with all the waste that we’re producing”.

The most interesting part of this documentary is getting to see how people are repurposing items that have been thrown out, giving them a new life that you wouldn’t have imagined. It’s kinda mind blowing really to see waste being used in incredible art forms and more functional purposes as well. There’s also folks who are dedicating their lives to restoring forgotten items. You get a real sense that nostalgia is driving their passion to not let these relics be forgotten.

“With the use and throw culture, that emotional value that you had with things is getting lost. We might say that it’s impacting the environment but what it’s really impacting is us as human beings.”

This documentary is beautiful, fascinating and inspiring. I hope it makes you pause before you toss things in the garbage or recycling and see the vast possibilities of items that could avoid the land fill.

‘Scrap’ premieres on the Documentary channel on November 6 at 9pm.

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