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The Burning Field

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.