The opening scene of the documentary film Waste Land looks like it's straight out of Wall-E — heaps upon heaps of garbage, which make such a pointed statement about excessive waste that you'll never want to throw away anything again. Filmmaker Lucy Walker tackles tough topics, often with a unique twist. This, her third of four films, made in Rio de Janeiro at the site of the world's largest landfill, does just that. Through her lens she'll make you rejoice in humanity's ability to turn trash into treasure. The British-born filmmaker will be on hand tonight at the International Documentary Association's Doc U Conversations With Lucy Walker at Cinefamily to talk about Waste Land and her other triumphs: Blindsight, about six blind Tibetan teens who climb Mt. Everest; Devil's Playground, about Amish teenagers during rumspringa, the traditional experimentation period; and Countdown to Zero, a harrowing look at the nuclear arms race. IDA board president and Oscar-nominated doc filmmaker Eddie Schmidt narrates her body of work, followed by a Q&A with Walker.

Mon., Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m., 2010

LA Weekly