The documentary film The Garden directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy is a pleasing film that deals with community issues in South Central community Garden at Alameda Los Angeles. The film was artistically made by the director in such a way that viewers will feel as if they are in the same environment where the film was taken. It exposes various viewpoints regarding conflicts on the environment as well as race issues. The film is indeed a great watch because it allows audience to feel the greed of people who wanted the garden to be destroyed and the faith of the gardeners in fighting and preserving their beloved garden.
The footages of the garden encompass the real beauty of nature. The natural lightning provided by the sun is one way of showing to viewers that the film is set in the real environment of The Garden. The angles seen on screen that displays the beauty of the garden before it was destroyed “are the product of many different forces” (Corrigan, 1997, p. 16). It was made out of love, labor and the willingness of the gardeners to achieve a happy life by simply living in a place where they can plant food and be with people they love most. One can feel a sense of belonging by simply watching the film.
The contentment and tranquility of the garden which is located in the middle of Los Angeles is really hard to believe because noise, pollution and other city activities are going on around the magnificent place. “Man is doomed to living in the world” (Corrigan, 1997, p. 5), from here one can conclude that there is a chaotic event that will occur in the film. After showing the beauty of the garden along with its people on the first part of the film, sound effects along with camera movements made a shattering projection that provided threat to the viewers regarding problems.
After 12 years of hardship in putting up the garden, the gardeners of the community receive a notice that they should vacate the place since the government allowed the purchase of the place. The frustration of the gardeners was extremely felt by the audience by the manner of speaking that they shown in the film. Along with the dialogues are the uses of “various sound technologies or special effects which become the starting point of a revealing analysis” (Corrigan, 2007, p. 20).
An example of this is the rallying voices of the people along with the noises of bulldozers in between speeches of people and how they predict future events that will happen on the garden. Taking out a way of life in exchange for money is the main message of the film. The film is at its best in presenting this idea. The South Central farm used to be a home that unites people who shows passion for the environment. It is not only a place where plants and food are grown. Hence, it is a place that heals people’s heart and gives tem a hopeful and renewed way of living.
But in the end of the film, one thing dominated the seen: the greediness of other people in the society of today. People who clings to power and money that eventually triumphed in having the garden meet its downfall. The film was ended in a tragic way, the same way that it happened in reality. The film is an exposition of truth in politics and racism. People often loose because the government is not doing its part in taking care of the welfare of the people. The cycle of life is shown in the film not only for The Garden itself but for all the people in general.
Everyone wishes for a beautiful place to live in. But just like any other story, The Garden has villains and heroes that are visible in the film and making it a high quality story to watch.
Corrigan, Timothy. A Short Guide to Writing about Film. United States: Pearson/Longman Publishing. 2007 Kennedy, Scott Hamilton (director). The Garden. USA. Starring: Rufina Juarez, Tezozomoc, Dan Stormer, Deacon Alexander, Miguel Perez, the farmers of the South Central Farm. 2008