Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Danny Glover, Daryl Hannah, Antonio Villaraigosa
Director: Scott Hamilton Kennedy
Genres: Educational, Documentary
Studio: Oscilloscope Pictures Release Date: 08/18/2009 Run time: 80 minutes
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Political film at its best!
D. E. fenkel | 06/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this doc shows the full spectrum of a nasty fight between crooked city council members, unprincipled community leaders, and hard working immigrant workers making great use of public land.
so damn deserving the academy award nomination it received.
i can't recommend it enough. it's the real life The Wire.
Good Use of Available Documents
Mike In NYC | 08/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this film at an IFC screening in NYC that included a Q&A with the director afterward. People who advocate of the rights of the poor to use under-used urban land almost universally love this film. I suspect the director shares their sympathies. What usually goes unnoticed as far as the story is concerned is that the city took private land through eminent domain and then failed to use the land for any of the public purposes for which land seizures are normally reserved. After the passage of several years, the city then sold the land back to the original owner at the price they'd originally paid him. On the surface, this does not seem 'unfair'. However, in the interim poor immigrants, many of whom were presumably undocumented, began to farm the land. That Hamilton failed to document whether or not these people were undocumented, whether any particular viewer feels this is germane or not, is a minor flaw in the film. Of course, their immigration status would have been a difficult topic to broach with the immigrants themselves and might have changed the filmmaker's access to the immigrant community, but it might also have served to highlight the differences between the immigrant community and the allegedly corrupt city counselors who were elected by the poor Black residents of the area. Be that as it may, Hamilton does a good job with the documents available to present the complexity of the situation, if only in passing. I spoke to Hamilton after the screening. He'd already sold the few DVDs he had with him for $20 and urged me to call or email him for a copy. I've done both, but only get an answering machine or a form email telling me the DVD is available, because of my university affiliation, for $310, even though I have no plans to use the DVD in an educational setting."
What The Left Does Right and What The Right Does Wrong
Sussex Pond Pudding | Somewhere in the desert, CA | 04/16/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a compelling and sadly unsurprising documentary about a group of Latino farmers in South Central Los Angeles being bullied by the political establishment and forced off land that they have been using for many years. It is a simple story, the likes of which we are all familiar with: back room deals, greed over morality, poor people being abused without recourse, etc. For anyone with a conscience this is an open and shut case of right and wrong. It is also an example of what the Left does right, despite their many political and philosophical flaws, and by extension, an example of what the Right does wrong.
The Left has not completely forsaken its ties to decency. The Left wing establishment has, as is evidenced in this film, but the grassroots core continues to try to do what they believe is the "right thing". Whether it actually is the "right thing" or not doesn't concern me here. They believe in a higher ethical system than the one layed out in the law books. Unfortunately, the Right in America has become little more than a defender of the these laws without any thought as to whether they are ethical or not. The Right in America has been hijacked by Big Business and Israel and turned into a Capitalist propaganda machine. When a group of poor subsistence farmers can be run off their land for no reason whatsoever (to this day the land has been left vacant by Ralph Horowitz, the owner) and no one from the Right comments or cares or shows up to march with them can we blame the poor for flying the Che flag? And when the singer of Rage Against The Machine makes a comment about how this would not happen in "Anglo" neighborhoods and no one is there to tell him that Jews are not "Anglos" can we blame them for distrusting and resenting white people? The Right needs to realize that Republicans, Israel and Big Business are not on our side. We need to stop worrying about Border Patrols and taxes and start worrying about ethics and moral obligation and distancing ourselves from the things that, rightly, shed us in a negative light. It is a shame that not one of the members of any of the many Southern Californian "extreme" right groups was there fighting alongside those farmers against Mr. Horowitz and the LA City Council."
Injustice in Los Angeles
Balaji Rajam | San Jose, CA | 02/21/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It was George Orwell who once said "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.". For the most part, I believe, The Garden does that. A heartbreaking true story of how the largest urban form in America was razed to the ground by corrupt politicians and an over zealous land owner.
More than the story of a farm, it is a commentary on the human condition and the desire to live one's life with dignity. These immigrant workers poured their blood and sweat and turned a 16 acre wasteland into a lush farm land. By stripping them of their land and livelihood through backroom deals, the politicians are destroying the America where it was once possible for the little guy to succeed"