Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Garden

While sniffling through my annual post-holiday cold, and waiting for the Vitamin C to do its work, I passed a few afternoons last week catching up on my DVD watching. The best movie I saw was a documentary called The Garden. It's the story of North America's largest urban garden — 14 acres! — situated in South Central Los Angeles. It was both an inspiring and heart-wrenching story.

Inspiring because it told the true tale of a lush, beautiful garden created by local Latino residents following the L.A. riots of 1992. There were apple and papaya trees, corn, and almost every vegetable you can imagine. Families worked hard to grow their own food and feed themselves in the midst of a huge, sprawling urban centre. There were many scenes of multi-generational families lovingly tending this amazing garden oasis.

The story was also heart-wrenching because not everyone believed the garden should continue to exist. The film relates the struggle of the gardeners who try their hardest to hold on to the land, as the city, a developer, and a few shady characters do their best to destroy the garden and reclaim the space.

I won't give the ending away, but I will say that this is a documentary worth watching. If you have an interest in urban agriculture, or in the power of the human spirit, check out this film.

No comments: