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A Man Named Pearl DVD + CD SET

71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When Pearl Fryar and his wife sought to buy a house in an all-white neighborhood of Bishopville, SC, they were dissuaded with the explanation that Black people don t keep up their yards. Remarkably, instead of fueling bitterness and anger, this comment motivated Pearl to win Bishopville s Yard of the Month award and, eventually, to transform his ordinary suburban yard into a horticultural wonderland. The topiary garden s centerpiece emblazons both its message and Pearl s own philosophy: Love, Peace, and Goodwill.

A MAN NAMED PEARL chronicles the story of Pearl s magical garden as well as his extraordinary life, both of which serve as inspirations to his family, his community, and the thousands of visitors who come to experience Pearl s world each year. The film traces Pearl s journey from a small town sharecropper s son to an internationally-acclaimed artist, focusing in particular on his position as the celebrated cultural and spiritual icon of his impoverished town. Now 68, the soft-spoken Pearl has just one wish for all those who wander through his living art; they must leave feeling differently than when they arrived.

Stirring and profoundly uplifting, A MAN NAMED PEARL offers a captivating window into the life a man who turned obstacles into breathtakingly beautiful possibilities.

Special Features:

Bonus CD with the Original Film Score by Composer Fred Story; Pearl Fryar & Co-director Scott Galloway Update; Composer Interview; Filmmaker Bios

"It's the one time in my life ignorance paid off," chuckles Pearl Fryar, a humble man with no eduction in horticulture who, after years of dedicated work, created an astonishing garden in the economically depressed town of Bishopville, S.C. But A Man Named Pearl doesn't just wander among the three acres of Fryar's beautifully sculpted trees and bushes, all created from plants Fryar rescued from the scrap heaps of local nurseries. The documentary shows how his singular vision spread out to affect the community, leading to Fryar being commissioned by art museums and turning Bishopville into a topiary mecca. But despite reviving the economic fortunes of the town, getting national recognition and free food from his local waffle house, and even becoming an unlikely sex symbol, Fryar remains thoughtful, warm, and dynamic, eager to help students and troubled youth discover their unexplored potential. A Man Named Pearl carefully balances the mysteries of the creative impulse with the fundamental humaneness of this outsider artist, resulting in an engaging, rewarding portrait--a perfect midpoint between The Parrots of Telegraph Hill and Crumb. A Man Named Pearl also includes a bonus cd of the jazzy soundtrack by composer Fred Story, as well as a follow-up interview with Fryar and co-director Scott Galloway. --Bret Fetzer

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Product Details

  • Actors: Pearl Fryar, Cecil Stokes
  • Directors: Scott Galloway; Brent Pierson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: November 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CQS7LU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,465 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Man Named Pearl DVD + CD SET" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jean E. Pouliot on October 22, 2008
Format: DVD
Pearl Fryar is an extraordinary man, self-made to be sure. The son of a sharecropper, he seemingly has an innate sense about the way plants grow, blessed with a keen, artistic mind. Combined, these talents have made him almost obsessed about turning his modest, 3-acre property in tiny Bishopville, South Carolina into a work of topiary art. Using cast-off plants from a local greenhouse, he creates and beautiful Eden in his backyard. The film is a paean to his efforts, his vision and his effect on his community.

There's a tendency to see Pearl as a sort of backwoods topiary savant. But listen to him speak to college art classes, and you will hear a articulate man who embodies the artistic impulse and inspires students to leave their sketchbooks behind and reach into their hearts. He may not have gained his knowledge from textbooks, but from Nature itself, the source of the textbooks. The film interviews Pearl, his wife and son, neighbors, his pastor and his many friends. The "best supporting actor" has to go to the head of the local Chamber of Commerce. Though his feet-on-the-desk, salesy manner might remind some of Uncle Kip in "Napoleon Dynamite," he sems truly appreciative of Pearl and his potential to bring a few more touirists into town.

Played as a fiction, "A Man Named Pearl" would have been set as a standard against-all-obstacles story. This film is not so craven as to invent huge villains for Pearl to overcome. The standard demons of lingering racial stratification, self-esteem, community doubt and the clock will have to do. A fine film that shows what human bengs are capable of when given the light, air and space to grow. Kind of like plants.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Cecil Stokes on October 27, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Length: 2:06 Mins
The movie trailer for "A Man Named Pearl"
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Phillip O. VINE VOICE on January 20, 2009
Format: DVD
This is a fascinating documentary about Pearl Fryar, a South Carolina man who has transformed his grounds into a dizzying display of plant sculptures. Fryar had no prior experience or knowledge of topiary and his only introduction to it was a brief demonstration at a local nursery. He immediately started landscaping his property with all kinds of evergreens and began training them into stunning shapes and designs with hedge trimmers and chainsaws. Interviews with Fryar's neighbors, friends and family show the influence of his work on the townspeople, young people (he regularly speaks to college students and give tours to grade school students) and tourism for the town. A remarkable man and film, very uplifting!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Deborah West on March 7, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Bishopville, SC is located in Lee County, one of SC poorest counties. Poor in economics but not poor in the richness of their citizens. Pearl Fryar is a remarkable man that has put Bishopville, SC on the map. He started with a small seed of a dream to win "Yard of the Month". His creative muse was unleashed with a 5-minute lesson on how to create a topiary with a chain saw from a plant rescued from a compost pile at City Nursery Wholesale Farm (one of seven nursery farms in the US licensed to grow 'Encore' Azaleas.
From one topiary grew two to three to Pearl's entire 2-acre property. His message and philosophy is outlined in his garden with plants that spell, "Peace, Love & Goodwill". Pearl is using his creative gift to support and lift up students in Lee County by receiving donations which he uses as scholarships to average "C" students in his community. He is a leader in his community with the theory "it takes a village to raise a child". Pearl and his wife recognized the challenges young people have in their community with low incomes and decided to do something positive to help lift them up and away from a possible life of drugs and crime. Pearl and his wife are among many unsung American heros living in our backyards. I think every school and library should have a copy of this DVD and share Pearl's message of "Love, hope and goodwill" with all students. You will find yourself laughing, crying and filled with inspiration when you watch this DVD. After you watch his DVD check out his website and visit his garden. You will be transformed!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Swanson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 13, 2010
Format: DVD
A wonderful movie about a wonderful man.

Pearl Fryar (and his lovely wife Metra) are two of the sweetest and most truly humble people you'll ever find. As much as I loved Pearl's topiary creations, what really touched me here is the truly unconditional love these two share. You can't fake this kind of connection; look at her eyes when she talks about him, and look at the gentleman he becomes in her presence. The entire world should have someone they love who loves them as much as the Fryars do each other. It's just heartwarming to be in their presence, even via film.

And it's a real treat to watch Pearl's love of nature and gardening transform those who come to view his three-acre slice of heaven, sliced by Pearl himself and certainly watched over by many green angels. The busloads of old ladies and young schoolkids and everyone in between are visibly moved because they can see and feel the love of the man in the plants, and his very individual vision. As some of the gardening experts say at the beginning, he shouldn't be able to do all this...this and that tree don't grow well here...yet there it is, a garden as perfect as Versailles in its own small, quiet way.

I think it works and grows and moves people because of the love so clearly on display. Trees and plants feel that love just as people do, and Pearl's love extends from his family (it's tough to separate his home, wife, and plants, they all seem of an exquisitely peaceful piece) to the people and his community, his church and his God. Yet few churches have the vibrant life and joy that emanates from Pearl's yard, and his very strong intention that it move and soothe others has clearly borne fruit on a level hard to imagine yet easy to fathom.
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