Subjects: Science and Nature, Environmental Studies, African Studies
'The Burning Field' is a unique ethnographic portrait of an environmental wasteland. Conceived and recorded by anthropologist/filmmakers Justin Weinrich and Anita Afonu, this immersive film presents an unforgettable slice of daily life in one of the largest e-waste dumps on earth, located just outside of Accra, Ghana.
This bizarre environment is explored through the eyes of four young people who live and work there. The film follows three young men and one young woman as they break down and burn appliances and then sell the aluminum and copper to local vendors. The film is structured into one day, beginning when a fresh load of electronics is dumped, and ending as their ashes are picked through. Verité scenes of the four subjects are intertwined, revealing who they are through captured moments of their work, relationships, and personal time.
Presented entirely through their perspectives and in their own words, these four young people are our guides to the harsh world of e-waste disposal, and the humanitarian and environmental nightmare that lies at the end of this corrupt global industry.
Asja.energy Award for Best International Documentary
Best Environmental Film - Docs Without Borders 2019
“Best Feature Documentary” at the 2020 Eugene Environmental Film Festival
About the filmmaker
Justin Weinrich is an award-winning nonfiction filmmaker based in New York City. With a background in anthropology and journalism, his work explores unique ecological and ethnographic subjects through investigative, immersive, and unconventional methods.
Justin’s work has aired on The National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and PBS, as well as at film festivals around the world. His television work includes the Emmy-nominated Hard Time series for National Geographic, the Genesis Award-winning Animal Planet Investigates: Canned Hunting, and A&E's acclaimed series 60 Days In.