Recycle [subtitled]


There isn’t much to Recycle, and it’s only a few minutes long, but in its way it’s a nice little film.

It feels like nonfiction, and I gathered from the credits that it is.

The main character–a Latino in Los Angeles–is a very rare specimen of the homeless. He is homeless by choice. He suffers from no apparent mental dysfunction. He never steals or panhandles to survive.

Evidently, for the four years he has lived on the streets, all day he pushes a shopping cart around collecting bottles and cans from trash cans, and then takes them to a recycle center for what is apparently his sole income. He also meticulously tends to a makeshift urban garden of sorts that he has gradually built up in a public space adjacent to the recycle center.

As he comments, those two things give his life a structure that he values. He seems to have a Buddhist-like contentment about losing himself in those two activities that constitute his work and his leisure.

I thought some of the cinematography, the editing, was artsier than it needed to be, at least for my tastes, as I tend to have a simplistic preference for the clear and straightforward. For example, the man’s face is not shown for the first half or so of the film, and only sparingly after that.

But overall, a worthwhile little film.