The Belcourt Theatre's Food on Film Series continues this week with The Garden, which begins July 1. For a full schedule of food-related films, visit The Belcourt's website.
THE GARDEN (July 1-2) After the 1992 L.A. riots resulting from the Rodney King verdict, one salve offered to the community was a 14-acre plot of land in South Central. The city bought the barren property from Ralph Horowitz under imminent domain and eventually created the largest community garden in the U.S.--a true urban farm. But 10 years later, Horowitz decided he wanted the land back, and a closed-door deal was made to return it at the same price the city originally paid. Scott Hamilton Kennedy's Oscar-nominated documentary follows the fight that sprouts when the 372 farmers arrive one day to find an eviction notice.
Their outrage results in a battle that grows to involve community activists, politicians, musicians and actors. As the organized South Central Farmers dig deeper, they chop away at the corruption taking root in their own community, including members of the city government who claim to have their best interests in mind. A project that blossomed out of chaos eventually relapses as conflicts burst forth between classes, races and neighbors, bringing Kennedy's documentary to a devastating conclusion. Exposing issues of community rights, poverty and human respect, The Garden proves that every Eden has its snake. BRENT ROLEN