The Cardboard Train

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Buenos Aires, Argentina
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The Cardboard Train tells the story of a young Argentine girl and her family as they adapt to their newly impoverished lives. After a huge economic disaster in 2001, the “cartoneros” (or “cardboard pickers”) were one of the most striking symbols of social change in Buenos Aires – a massive workforce that became a very visible part of life on the city streets. They work exhausting hours with no employment rights and uncertain pay. Instead of commuting to a job, they travel by train as a community some 30,000 strong to scavenge cardboard from the street, which they sell for a few coins. Rather than dwell on the dark reality, though, the focus of this challenging but honest film is to tell the story of their great optimism and spirit.

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