Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Kicked Out of The Garden

Here's a controversy that's got plenty of hot button issues - land use, immigration, food, poverty, celebrities, court battles, media bias, government corruption, the search for Justice, political activism and much more.

"The Garden" is a documentary which follows the convoluted events surrounding an urban community garden in South Central Los Angeles - some 14 acres of carefully tended agriculture which emerged in the area after the riots in the early 1990s. Hundreds were using the land, many more than that were fed by the crops and a few years ago the farmers were told they were being evicted, despite all promises to keep the garden intact.

The must-see trailer for the film is here. It has just begun the festival circuits and more press attention is likely to follow. The story is as twisted as movie plot and several celebs got involved, like Willie Nelson and others, including actress Daryl Hannah, who wedged herself into a tree on eviction day. (I'm not sure that helped the cause.)

Was the sale of the land illegal? Did the city conspire to bulldoze the farm? Are the South Central Farmers ordinary folks or crazed activists? (Wikipedia has a page devoted to the debate.)

Kicked out of the farm, locals continue nightly vigils at the site, demanding the right to return to The Garden.

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