Date(s) - 05/18/2019
7:00 pm-10:00 pm

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church


This inspiring documentary about a children’s orchestra from a Paraguayan slum that gains world fame playing instruments fashioned from trash follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, named for a landfill slum town outside Paraguay’s capital, Asunción.

The families there make their living picking through the trash, finding things of value and selling them in richer communities.

One trash worker, carpenter Nicolás Gómez, turns some of the garbage into instruments.

“The violins are fashioned from oven trays, the cellos from oil barrels,” says CBS News reporter Bob Simon on “60 Minutes,” which profiled the children’s orchestra in 2014.

“Even the strings are recycled,” he says. “The saxophones and trumpets are made from old drain pipes. The keys were once coins and bottlecaps.”

Under the tutelage of environmental technician-turned-music teacher Favio Chávez, the children give a recital to their proud parents and neighbors — and unexpectedly rise to fame, traveling the country.

Later, the children travel the world, performing at concert halls in South America, Europe and the United States.

The kids even realize a dream — to play with the Los Angeles heavy metal band Megadeth.

“An astonishing documentary that will stir your soul, bring you tears of joy, and serve as a kiss across the abyss of separation,” write film critics Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat in Spirituality & Practice magazine.

“Deeply inspiring,” says David Noh in Film Journal International. “A secret treasure,” says Kate X Messer in The Austin Chronicle.

“A testament to spirited determination,” says Sheri Linden in the Los Angeles Times.

The 2015 film, by Brad Allgood, Juliana Peñaranda-Loftus and Graham Townsley — which is also an exposé on slum life and a commentary on consumption and waste — won 21 critic and festival awards, including 13 Audience Choice awards and the Humanitas Prize in the documentary category for promoting human dignity, meaning and freedom.

The film’s trailer can be found on YouTube at

The “60 Minutes” report can be found at

The movie runs 84 minutes and is rated PG.

The New Paltz screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Refreshments will be served.

Attendees over age 12 are asked to contribute $10 a person.

The monthly Movies With Spirit series, organized by Gerry Harrington of Kingston, seeks to stimulate people’s sense of joy and wonder, inspire love and compassion, evoke a deepened understanding of people’s integral connection with others and with life itself, and support individual cultures, faith paths and beliefs while simultaneously transcending them.

The films are screened in diverse houses of worship and reverence across Ulster and Dutchess counties at 7 p.m., on the third Saturday of every month. The series has no religious affiliation.

For more information about “Landfill Harmonic” and the rest of the series, contact Harrington at 845-389-9201 or at


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