AU student Lawrence Green’s new documentary, Trashman, chronicles Green’s exploration into the trash problem of his local DC neighborhood and the community activists trying to do something about it. A native Washingtonian currently living in Ward 8, Lawrence is an MFA student in the Film and Media Arts Division.
When Green and his wife purchased a home in the Fairlawn neighborhood of Southeast DC, he quickly became aware of the persistent trash build-up occurring in his area. Green began regularly picking up trash along the sidewalks in his neighborhood, which inspired him to investigate the deeper issues behind the pollution. In Trashman, Green takes viewers on a personal journey alongside community activists working to address the trash problem affecting their area. In the film, Green covers trash cleanups and interviews residents and leaders who are trying to improve the situation. The film is decidedly participatory, with Green questioning on camera why the trash problem is so much worse in his ward than in other, wealthier DC wards.
Once the film is complete, Green plans to host a community screening to bring greater awareness and a solution-oriented dialogue around what can be done to address the problem. Ultimately, the film’s investigation is personal to Green as he decides whether he wants to stay in the city and continue to fight for solutions, or leave and find a better home for himself and his family.