from Multimedia Library Collection:
Environmental Film Profiles (videos)

Prado, Marcos. Estamira. Rio de Janeiro: Zazen Produções, 2005. 35 mm, 115 min.

Estamira tells the story of a 63 year-old woman who suffers from schizophrenia. Estamira has lived and worked for the past 20 years at the waste disposal site of Jardim Gramacho in Rio de Janeiro. Charismatic and maternal, Estamira shares her life with a community of elderly folk at the waste site. Filming began in January of 2000, when Estamira started getting treatment at a state-run psychiatric clinic. The film shows her life during four years of continuous medication; reveals her transformation and the effects the drugs had upon her. In her children’s statements, her arduous existence becomes exposed: her lost childhood in poor, rural Brazil, her tormented loves and marriages, and her frustrations. With a poetic, philosophical and eloquent discourse, Estamira lives for the mission that was set upon her: to reveal and to reclaim the truth. (Source: Zazen Produções)

© 2005 Zazen Produções. Trailer used with permission.

This film is available at the Rachel Carson Center Library (RCC, 4th floor, Leopoldstrasse 11a, 80802 Munich) for on-site viewing only. For more information, please contact

About the Environmental Film Profiles collection

Further readings: 
  • Damásio, João. "Waste Pickers’ Cooperatives in Brazil: Social Inclusion while Recycling." In Claiming the City: Civil Society Mobilisation by the Urban Poor, edited by Heidi Moksnes and Mia Melin, 73-84. Uppsala: Uppsala University, 2014.
  • Satterthwaite, David. "The Links between Poverty and the Environment in Urban Areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America." The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 590, no.1 (2003): 73–92.