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Matter Out of Place
Directed by Nikolaus Geyrhalter
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Waste on the shores, waste on the mountains. On ocean floors and deep down in the earth. The term “matter out of place” refers to objects in a place they originally do not belong to. And there are many such objects in the places Nikolaus Geyrhalter visits for this film.

In his unique imagery consisting of minutely composed pictures, the director traces immense amounts of waste across our planet. He travels from the mountain tops of Switzerland to the coasts of Greece and Albania, into an Austrian refuse incinerator and then to Nepal and the Maldives, and finally to the deserts of Nevada.

MATTER OUT OF PLACE is about human-made refuse, which surrounds us all the time, everywhere. On his journey, Geyrhalter illustrates the sheer endless struggle of people to gain control over the vast amounts of waste that we produce every single day. Collecting, shredding, burning, burying – a Sisyphean task, which ostensibly solves the global problem of rubbish that is stealthily growing.

“A visually gorgeous, even pristine, movie about, well, garbage. ... But this is no navel-gazing exercise in aestheticizing detritus or finding beauty in ugly places. Rather, Geyrhalter’s keen, rigorous tableaux provoke us to think about the massive global industry required to deal with the rubbish we so casually generate in our everyday culture of disposability.”  —The New York Times

“Mesmerizing and strangely beautiful.” —Variety

“Imbues the landscape with a political charge, exploring its defilement as the inherent cost of capitalism... MATTER OUT OF PLACE appropriately captures the inexorable issue of waste and confronts our struggle to surmount it.” —BOMB Magazine

“With static camerawork that accentuates the artfulness of his shot compositions, Geyrhalter finds in garbage a sublimity, disturbingly beautiful in its sheer magnitude.” —Slant Magazine

Green Leopard Environmental Prize, Locarno Film Festival 2022
Camden IFF 2022
IDFA 2022
DOK Leipzig 2022
Viennale 2022

105 minutes / Color
English / English subtitles
Closed Captioned
Release: 2023
Copyright: 2022

For individual consumers (home video)

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This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Agriculture, Biology, Business and Economics, Cultural Anthropology, Ecology, Economic Sociology, Economics, Environment, Ethics, Food, Globalization, Nature, Science and Technology, Science/Technology, Urban Studies

Related Links:
The Films of Nikolaus Geyrhalter

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