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“Someone get a saw!” yells a rescue worker frantically digging in a heap of garbage for a buried body. A blackened corpse slowly emerges, but rescuers are unsure if it is a man or woman. “I know her,” someone finally says. “It’s Mrs. Garret.”

The scene is Manila’s Payatas garbage dump in July 2000, and the lens of Japanese filmmaker Hiroshi Shinomiya is unflinching. The mountain of trash collapsed under the onslaught of a typhoon, burying around 500 hovels of people who forage for recyclable items in the landfill to survive.

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