FROM TRASH TO TREASURE: turning negatives into positives

Viewers Respond to the Film


Photo courtesy of Cultures of Resistance Films


We have been honored to receive feedback and comments from audience members who have viewed FROM TRASH TO TREASURE: turning negatives into positives. If you have watched the film, we invite you to send us your thoughts and keep the discussion going! We can be reached by email at


isabel s. — 

Gracias por tu hermoso trabajo. Muy valioso para nuestra comunidad racializada, sacando todo nuestro poder como personas negras ✊🏿🔥🙏🏾

just saw it
love it
make me feel good and respect-full to see beautiful peoples likes in your docu
bravo for the work and sharing it
bravo to the cameraman too 🙂

shangrila.lala — Hope to talk to you more next time. Your documentary affected me deeply. Now I have so many to think over. Thank you so much for your kind invitation.

Rocío — About the film, it was absolutely inspiring. I think you could portrait a decolonized-empowered perspective of a territory that is constantly exploited by a colonialist-capitalist system. As a latinamerican I think it’s fundamental to encourage our strength and will power without romanticizing poverty or the lack of resources. Your documentary connected me with the essential of life, with nature and its values. I loved that you didn’t have a script, it was a network piece creating itself. There is where the magic happens.

Luz. F — Há algumas semanas, bem no princípio do mês, havia recebido outro convite por parte da assistente da @iara_lee por indicação do @cinegeracao para assistir as suas curta-metragens, infelizmente não pude assistir nos dois dias seguidos, felizmente porque a minha agenda não permitiu. Provavelmente, teria sido igualmente interessante, pois, chamou-me a atenção a ousadia da cineasta de ser humilde o suficiente para não corromper a narrativa dos protagonistas dos seus documentários.
Ainda sobre as curtas que tive o prazer de assistir, tratava de comunidades africanas (em Lesoto e Burkina) onde os próprios habitantes falavam sobre o seu dia-a-dia, sobre a economia comunitária e como cada um fazia para contribuir positivamente para o bem estar do colectivo.

As curtas apresentam, exactamente por terem sido narrada pelos habitantes e líderes comunitários, creio, uma visão positiva sobre as comunidades rurais, sem desmerecé-las por estarem aquém do desenvolvimento tecnológico actual das cidades urbanizadas.
Os habitantes não se desenvolvem para sair da comunidade, um grande mal (necessário) que infelizmente acontece muito em África, mas para contribuir para o bem estar da mesma comunidade com grande senso de “ubuntismo”, ou como queiram ‘responsabilidade/consciência social”.
Parece um mundo perfeito. Onde o capitalismo não fez das suas. Por momentos achei que fosse ficção.
Um ambiente rural com muito para ensinar, não olhando pra a modernidade como o caminho ou a salvação.

Outra discussão que também é actual aqui, é sobre o papel dos artistas para a conscientização das comunidades, nos esquecendo que são antes de tudo artistas conscientes que tomam o lugar de liderança e não a pressão dos seus fãs que lhes fará mudar de consciência.
Os artistas das curtas que vi eram activos na arte e como líderes nas suas comunidades, acreditavam de verdade que juntos e cultivando o melhor estilo de vida para comunidade era o caminho. Eles entendem que a essência das suas vidas não é acumular bens, mas fazer o bem.


Hugo Salvaterra — Bonito ontem. Sendo vegetariano há mais de 5 anos e consciente, acho o teu trabalho bonito e importante. Obrigado


Eliana N. — I liked it a lot, because in addition to being movies, they are stories, lives, motivation and inspiration.
So I loved the films.


Mohammed Zain, Sudan — This film is so inspirational , just love what these talented ppl are doing Creating positive results out of what most would consider impossible negatives is a msg is relevant worldwide . I love what ppl in this film are stepping up and doing as individuals . Even better benefiting community.


Norangelys, Puerto Rico — Gracias a ti por proyectos con tan significativos para la sociedad.


Katya N., Bulgaria — I just saw your film on Lesotho and I am so inspired and thankful! While watching it, I couldn’t help but think of the gypsy kids here in Bulgaria—so similar is their reality and so similarly marginal their prospects in life! The music in your film, the music the people of Lesotho make… it is just beyond words. Thanks a lot! Such good work!


Richard L., Canada — This is my favorite short film I’ve seen all year. Congratulations to everyone involved! The production values are outstanding, and the message of the film is exceptionally humane and thoughtful. It’s a beautiful and important film. I feel everybody should see it!


Laura H., The Netherlands — I watched your film about Lesotho yesterday, and today I based my presentation to about 50 musician-activists on it. What a beautiful testament to creativity, art, and the power of people. Thank you so much for everything that you do!


Jeremy G., Solomon Islands — This film is super amazing and really inspired me. It brought me renewed hope that out of trash, there can be treasure. I also learned a lot from this film and it was an eye-opener for me. Great team effort!


Julie S., Vanuatu — This is how social change stays alive! Please meet the engaged people of Lesotho. The film maker Iara Lee’s now-famous crossroad approach—political, cultural, and environmental—remains faithful to her beliefs, never on the surface of things or invading. She has this way of seeing and showing talent and true engagement wherever she goes. Love her work!


Solo S., Papua New Guinea — I only learned about Lesotho last year. I was curious about African cultures and came across it. Great work with this film, Iara! From cinematography to sound design and music, I loved it. As a fellow artist, I found myself engaged by all the stories and I also thoroughly enjoyed the music. Great song choices. That bit with Siphiwe Nzima Nts’ekhe was something powerful.


Luisa M. — É tão bom tomar conhecimento através dos teus documentários dos fantásticos seres humanos e iniciativas que acontecem um pouco por todo o mundo, mesmos nos cantos mais surpreendentes. Bem-haja Lee Iara.


Stewart the Cyclist, Lesotho — This is good work! Really matches well with the title. Keep up the good work!


Berit A., Norway — I love this film! Your films give hope for a world with more love to the Earth and humans. It gives hope for the future, for a better world. In Norway, we have almost everything, but we don’t care about nature or people who need nature. The government has given over nature to industry.

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23 hours ago

Cultures of Resistance
Capoeira is thought to have originated in Brazil, growing out of traditions brought overseas by enslaved Africans. The dynamic martial art form incorporates dance, music and acrobatics all at once. Through Capoeira Luanda, the practice becomes a new way to celebrate, preserve and learn about Brazilian culture.Capoeira Luanda is bringing the capoeira art form to new communities, and celebrating the richness of Afro-Brazilian cultures. The organization strives to use the principles of capoeira as a means to foster positive psycho-social development and critical consciousness within communities. ... See MoreSee Less
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