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Food on Film: The Garden

filmfestheaderBelinda Gross is our randomly selected winner of the $25 gift card. Thanks everyone for your entries! Have you watched The Garden? Read on for a chance to win a $25 gift card. 151 films about food shown in 30 days… that’s what the Let’s Retake Our Plates Film Series is all about.  Find a showing of one of these films in your area. Ashley Gibbons, Marketing Supervisor at our Arroyo store in Pasadena loves eating food other people have cooked at home. When left to her own devices however, a monstrous salad and Murphy’s Stout usually hit the spot. Here's her review of The Garden:
After the riots in 1992, the city of Los Angeles gave the community of South Central 14 acres of land to create a healing garden. And it prospered, and healed, and was the largest urban farm in the country. And then the city bulldozed it. For the group of farmers, who were mostly immigrants of Latin America, this was one more time that government officials were intruding, and silencing them. But this time, they organized, they fought, they stuck together to hold on to their rights. This movie follows the farmers, from garden to city hall, watching the team organize, dispute, rally, and eventually… well, I won't ruin the end. But you can guess what happens to the farm. However, the story is in the people. It’s the realization that together, as a community, and more often as a family, the strength of their voice rises, and they won't take no for an answer. The Garden really is the Eden inside a city landscape of grey, concrete, transit. In the city that is famous for greed, personal gain, and urban flight, the farmers show a different side, a side more of us know and more of us are seeking. A community that knows each other, that supports each other, that stands together for a belief in fresh, good food for all, no matter where you call home.
Have you watched The GardenPost a review in the comments below by April 14th for a chance to win a $25 gift card!

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36 comments

Comments

ozeeya says …

Excellent post. Great experience to read this post. This "The Garden film trailer is also nice.

Shu Chen says …

What the guy said at 1:45 is so wrong. "The time is up for the gardeners to be perceived as the community. They are not." If the gardeners are not the community, then who is? Wealthy and powerful people need to respect other people less fortunate than them. I hate for this to end up as badly as the L.A. riot in 1992. It's a sad story.

Sande Macleod says …

The trailer is very powerful. I will be looking to see this film in its entirety.

Melissa Victoria says …

Me quito el sombrero ante esta gran comunidad de granjeros que pusieron el TODO para esta causa. Con esa misma actitud es que se logra la conquista. Estoy muy segura que esta lucha les dara mas fortaleza y agallas para seguir adelante con todo lo que se interpongan y que no habra ley que se vuelva a burlar de ellos. Me pregunto que es mas importante vivir o jugar soccer y almacenar? nunca hubo un proposito racional para esta aberracion Subtitles: (sorry for my bad translation) I pull my hat off for this farmers community who put ALL for this cause. This is the attitude to achieve big conquers. I'm sure that this fight will give them more strength and guts to keep going with everything that interfere their way. There's no law that will ever mislead them. I ask myself: what's more important, to live or play soccer and to store??? There was no rational purpose for this outrage. Pa'Lante LATINO!!

Lynda Byrnes says …

What a powerful short video. For LA to donate then retake the community garden is a huge breoch of justice. It provided people with a way to connect and support themselves nutritionally and spiritually. The person who said "this is what should be in ever city in America" was the one who knew what he was talking about. Bless the gardeners.

Belinda Gross says …

I'm surprised that L.A. would do that. Don't they know that the garden helps keep their city's air clean. It helps people with feeding themselves, so shoplifting or other crimes might go down. It helps the economy in so many ways that we don't see or even think/know about. The city may say get rid of it to crate jobs, but the garden is a job. It's also a teacher, student, friend, listener and so much more. I say L.A. was in the wrong to take it, especially how they went about it. Stand up for gardens every where, especially community ones.

William Babb says …

If this film were a PBS series it would likely get much more attention. Or it might show that PBS is just as corrupt as the LA government. In any case, just the proposition could be very revealing. As a long time gardener, I understand the relationship between the people and the land. That this is an unjust and morally wrong action on the part of LA is a no-brainer.

Ashley Hankins says …

This is outrageous! I found myself burning with anger as they were tearing down the garden and physically attacking the farmers. Ralph Horowitz is a dishonest man. Even after they raised all the money, he took back his offer. Sadly, far too often, the little man loses.

Edward says …

It brought tears to my eyes.

Lin Le says …

very moving, the good fight. When it comes down to politics, it really has to do with who has more money to influence the politicians. They will bulldoze every last inch of the Earth just so they can claim they are bringing the 'jobs'.

Janet Stevenson says …

This is a disgrace! How can something so dear, something so ALIVE , be held in the threads of uncertainty like this? Gardens DO heal. Gardens DO teach. Gardens do bring ALL people together...just like a kitchen. Gardens feed MORE than our bellies. I will tell people about this. Thanks.

Hadda says …

OMG!!! What the city did was soo wrong! Especially if most of them were immigrants. It's just another way of racism. It's like the city was saying, "we don't want you here, so let me take away the little piece of heaven you already have here so you could just leave." They are being a big bully. Plain and simple.

Karen says …

How do we bring the film series to Raleigh, NC?

Dania Lainez says …

Awesome demonstration of the power of the people. We need more citizens like them to get involved in issues that conceens our communities. Brave people can stand up to politicians and politics and they can prevail if they are united for a worthy cause.

Andrea Turner says …

I saw this in a diversity class at Hiram College. It was a very powerful film. I would recommend that every high school student see this film. There are a lot of life lessons to be learned from watching and discussing it.

bsmidt says …

I think this is a great story that needed to be told. It gives hope to so many who desire fresh, healthy food options in a concrete jungle. Milwaukee has a similar situation with a group called 'Growing Power'.

Jackie says …

I did not know this video, or movie existed....and I really want to see more now because what an injustice. It shows what is wrong with this country...not just that city....

Becky Burke says …

What a wonderful film. We are starting a community garden in a formal Naval Base in inner city North Charleston, SC. I showed the video to an after school program who is working with us and we had an amazing discussion afterwards. We were all inspired to grow and by the amazing sense of the community generated by the garden in LA. I recommend it to anyone working to generate enthusiasm about community garden projects!

kim conway says …

This is just a travesty. I intend to go watch the full movie now that this trailer has me intrigued.

Leyla Ozgur says …

This is a very interesting topic and the clip really showed the tension of the situation well. Thanks for letting us know about it!

Aaron Wheeler says …

The Garden was a great comparative in terms of the organic and the non-organic worlds that have to integrate somehow. In Seattle, the P-Patches really embody the idea of "The Garden," and while I'm originally from Pasadena, I have to say that the city's got nothin' on Seattle P-Patches. The Garden was a great movie, though; all gardeners (everyone, actually) should see it!

Chris Walla says …

Great short video. It is so wrong what the city did. Something should be done to rectify the situation.

Xkun says …

It's a heart wrenching film. I'm deeply touched by those moments of hope and of despair. By the time I saw the bulldozers approaching, I was wound up with the farmers and really felt their pain.

Rose says …

The bird's-eye views of the Garden were an incredible contrast to urban LA. As well, the cultivated spaces and stories of those gardeners were beautiful. I left the film feeling angered at what happened. But...what about the initial injustice of the government taking someone's land by eminent domain? Underpinning the story was a government making corrupt move after corrupt move. The consequences of these moves did allow a verdant Garden to flourish for a time but ultimately they led to that Garden's destruction.

Rob says …

I saw this movie a month or so back via NetFlix streaming video, so if you are a NetFlix subscriber, you can see it thru there. At the end of the movie, I didn't blame the city for what happened...their hands were tied by the law. I was angry at the individuals who manipulated the law to try and improve their own wealth and power at the expense of the immigrants and others who spent so much of their time, energy, and love working in the Garden.

Diane Kay says …

Such a powerful film and it concerns all of us! Big money has control of our food in more ways then this and it does matter! I want to see the whole film and I will tell people about it. It would be great for every school to not only see this film but have a garden to grow healthier food for school lunches.

karen shaughnessy says …

I am both disturbed and intrigued by this clip..what a shame..the almighty dollar wins again.

Heather St. Marie says …

We have lost touch with the Earth, and we have lost touch with each other. We NEED projects like this to remind us that we are humans - subject to evolution and extinction just like any other animal. And without each other we cannot evolve... we cannot survive. I do hope these gardners win - and I'd like to see projects like this in every metropolitan area around the world.

carmen marcy says …

I am outraged by the abuse of justice portrayed in "The Garden", and am in total agreement that every city in America needs to have many such gardens.Is this another example of greedy polititians doing what's good their pockets and having no care or concern for poor people and our imperiled environment? I can't wait to see the 5 films that are being shown in Bryn Mawr as part of a much needed series of informative documentaries.

Pamela M. says …

We have become desensitize to what really matters. Just like the video states, our land provides, so we must eat from what mother nature gives us. Global warming will not destroy humanity, instead, we are destroying each other. When will we stop prioritizing money as a means of survival? We all have forgotten the basics, to love and be loved by our surroundings.

vanessa mcguire says …

I grew up being a part of a community garden back east. My mother was a pioneer in starting a community garden in our neighborhood, by writing a grant to raize a home behind our house that was left to young adults who didn't care about their property, back taxes was paid for them and a community garden was started. This is very simular to "the garden" where a community comes together to sustain a property to make their lives better. The bounty that comes from planting and eating something you have a hand in means the world to people, and as the community shows when you come together for a cause all things are possibe. In our neighborhood in Ohio we had no grocery stores nearby and the corner stores sold no fresh veggies. Being self sustainable means more to the community, than a new building being erected to service no one, other than to sell high price items no one needs. Now in our city in Ohio there are community gardens in every section of the city and the city council helps with grants / seeds and water wells to keep the gardens going. "The Garden" movie says it all.

John Maxwell says …

wow, amazing. Intense. This film is proof that large scale Urban gardening is possible. Not only that, but I feel that diversifyed organic urban gardening should be a government mandate in every major city on the planet. peace -

Nadia says …

Wow. What a story! It is inspiring to me to see what a community can do. Yes, the garden was destroyed, but these people persevered. I must also say that I felt as though I was watching an episode of a series called The Wire. It's about drug problems in Baltimore and the series traces it back to the politics of the city. I feel the need to start a community garden for my neighborhood now! (PS this has already started in Miami with the Roots in the City farmer's market and community garden project: http://www.rootsinthecity.net/ )

Jamie says …

I found myself rooting for the farmers and disgusted with politicians. The city had no right in bulldozing the community garden because the city isn’t just taking away a 14-acre land, but they are also taking away a way of life for these farmers. It’s disturbing how people are willingly to do anything for money.

Laura says …

Inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. Wonderful film.

Sonya says …

What a compelling and amazing short film. Another example of how people uniting together can bring about awareness and change to any situation. The farmers and gardeners were very inspiring. Hopefully the city's eyes will be opened to understanding the beauty in nature.