The Garden

Rated 3.0

Scott Hamilton Kennedy’s Oscar-nominated documentary The Garden looks at the legal and political process of defending the largest community garden in the United States against developers and crooked councilpersons. The 14-acre South Central Farm started in 1992 as a community appeasement following the Los Angeles riots, but in 2006 it was threatened with a possibly illegal eviction by a shadowy landlord looking to build warehouses. It’s an instructive look at city politics in action, a sensitive story of poor people working the land and an interesting display of the ease with which representatives for the oppressed can transform into tools used against them. Unfortunately, Kennedy doesn’t even show a pretense of evenhandedness, and the farmers in The Garden never develop into anything more than slogan-shouting symbols.