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The Garden 2008

NR CC
4.4 out of 5 stars (34) IMDb 7.5/10

From the ashes of the L.A. riots arose a lush, 14-acre community garden, the largest of its kind in the United States. Now bulldozers threaten its future.

Starring:
Danny Glover, Daryl Hannah
Runtime:
1 hour, 19 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Scott Hamilton Kennedy
Starring Danny Glover, Daryl Hannah
Supporting actors Antonio Villaraigosa
Studio Oscilloscope Laboratories
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Balaji Rajam on February 21, 2010
Format: DVD
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
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Format: DVD
This movie covers the fight by a group of south central families to avoid having a 13 acre garden in South Central Los Angeles destroyed. There is a lot of detailed history of this battle, but the producers skillfully focused on presenting the major events and players in order to give the viewer an understanding of the conflict, rather than presenting the details of the litigation surrounding the 13 acres.

The summary is this: after LA police officers were acquitted of charges of beating Rodney King, one of the things L.A. did to try to improve community relations was to help start a community garden on 13 acres. The film gives ground level and aerial views of the lush garden that resulted with plots tended by local families, mostly spanish speaking immigrants. There were banana, walnut and papaya trees, corn, lettuces, squash, etc. It was open from dawn to dusk. Families, senior citizens and children all worked together and they eventually developed a democratically based group that set rules and alloted land, and represented them in their fight to keep it when the garden was slated for destruction by a developer purchasing it from the city.

This film covers many issues of American society that we have struggled with for over 100 years - poor nutrition in low income neighborhoods, community building, minority rights and representation, land development and political dealmaking, the conflicts between different ethnic low income groups, community activism, etc.

After watching the film I was saddened and angered at what in the end really killed the garden - the anger of the developer who said he wouldn't sell the land at ANY price. Despite national attention, celebrity involvement, funding from the Annenburg foundation to buy the land at a fair price, etc. etc.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
this is a good movie about how people get pushed aside by politicians and greedy businessmen. It was not what I intitially expected, and the focus on political activism was much better than I expected. The farm element was just a backdrop for the real story. The ending was a deal maker.
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A very compelling real-life tale of hardball, back-room politics colliding with humble ordinary people trying to grow veggies on an apparently abandoned lot in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the story is too passionate and one-sided at times as it glosses over imperfections and misbehavior by the "good guys"--such as anti-Semitic insults that antagonized the "heartless" developer, commercial exploitation of some garden plots by their users, conflicts within the ranks of the protestors, and demagoguery by those leading the protests. I still root for the gardeners and weep for the fate of the garden, but the film would be more convincing if it didn't come across as one-sided propaganda at times.
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Format: DVD
wow wow wow. i'm an LA resident and was horrified by the injustice i saw between councilwoman jan perry and scumbag land owner ralph horwitz. jan has her hands so deep in the money bag, obliviously on the take, while horwitz is too busy being racist. amazing and so glad this was documented on film. i'm sorry i was not more involved with this movement. rent/buy this film to see what i'm talking about. worth it on all levels. at least it will get you thinking one way or another.
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Format: DVD
I saw this movie at Cinema Village in NY and was so impressed by its raw, fly-on-the-wall approach. Being a New Yorker I knew nothing of the plight of these farmers in South Central LA and their attempts to take on greedy developers and city hall to save their community garden, but this story has universal appeal. An enthralling and necessary doc.
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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
What can community to do if they can't even find a plot of land to harvest in their own community? Succumb to the desperation of the jobless concrete jungle? Maybe find a dead end job so they can barely afford the crap fast food that will make their whole family sick with hospital bills they can't afford either?

This is a vital expose on how shady political dynamics and petty greed can undermine community self-reliance.
More than a single story, this is emblematic of a sick and unjust system. Don't miss it.
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