“Dumpster Archeology” is a captivating short documentary film directed by Dustie Carter, exploring the unconventional yet intriguing world of Lew Blink, a self-proclaimed “Dumpster Archeologist.”
The film, with a runtime of approximately 14 minutes, delves into the unique lifestyle and philosophy of Lew Blink as he embarks on dumpster diving excursions to uncover hidden treasures within the refuse left in alleyways.
The documentary begins with a thought-provoking question: “Imagine everything in your apartment suddenly ended up in the dumpster?” This immediately engages the audience, prompting introspection about the hidden aspects of their lives that may end up discarded someday.
The narrative, voiced by Lew Blink himself, raises questions about the personal items people possess, shedding light on what may be thrown away and overlooked by society.
Lew‘s passion for dumpster diving becomes evident as he passionately alludes to the thrill of the hunt and poses the rhetorical question, “Why pay for things if you can get them for free?” This sets the tone for the film, showcasing his commitment to turning other people’s trash into his treasure.
The term “Dumpster Archeology” is introduced, a concept Lew Blink created out of his love for archeology/history and dumpsters. The film features a glimpse into his impressive collection of items found in dumpsters, ranging from disco balls to a pet iguana. Remarkably, he reveals that 98% of everything in his home is salvaged from dumpsters, highlighting his dedication to a lifestyle that sees discarded items as valuable resources.
As the documentary progresses, the audience discovers that Lew Blink is not merely a socially awkward or mentally unstable scavenger. Rather, he appears well-read and learned, challenging stereotypes associated with dumpster diving enthusiasts. The film presents him as someone who takes his unconventional lifestyle seriously, considering it to be more than just a hobby but an actual way of life.
A notable moment in the film revolves around a diary Lew found in a dormitory dumpster. The documentary explores the ethical implications of his actions, he acknowledges that what he does could be considered an invasion of privacy. However, he argues that the discarded items lose their privacy in the garbage, making them public domain.
The cinematography, skillfully executed by Mike Darlton, complements the narrative by accentuating the value and pride Lew attaches to the items he discovers in dumpsters. The visuals convey the essence of his unique perspective on life and material possessions.
In its concise runtime, “Dumpster Archeology” serves as a thought-provoking and introspective piece, prompting viewers to reevaluate their own lives and possessions.
It challenges societal norms and encourages contemplation about the necessity of material belongings, leaving the audience with lingering questions about the nature of consumerism and personal identity.
I will score this film 3 out of 5 stars.