The Garden
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In the aftermath of the 1992 L.A. riots, something truly remarkable happened at the intersection of 41st Street and Alameda Avenue thanks to an uncharacteristically charitable move by the city government; where once existed a barren field littered with garbage and syringes suddenly appeared a 14-acre community garden. Dubbed the South Central Farm, the produce garden soon began yielding fresh lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and sweet papayas. Now the local farmers could enjoy their own crops rather than relying on food stamps for subsistence. Not only that, but it also replaced a scene of urban blight… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Justice and Corruption and Profit are abstractions, and film is so ill suited to deal with abstractions."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"The Garden is an especially fatuous documentary, nominated for an Oscar this year, about a community garden in South Central LA where Latino farmers have been allowed to grow food on somebody else's land."
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
"an interesting film simply for the complexity of this issue"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"[Director Kennedy] lets his subjects tell their tales in their own words. And that's what really makes the film interesting."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"The documentary digs deep into the racial and monetary problems of a tumultuous, melting-pot community."
‑ Adam Keleman, Slant Magazine
"A good documentary leaves the viewer wanting more. A problematic one leaves the viewer needing more."
‑ Philip Kennicott, Washington Post
"This intricate and compelling documentary paints a saddening portrait of American politics."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"The Garden moves beyond the feel good facet of any apparent ending to show how stark, stupid reality can rip said victory away. It won't make sense - none of these 'us vs. them' situations ever do - but it does create compelling cinema."
‑ Bill Gibron, PopMatters
"A compelling, inspirational, provocative and thoroughly engrossing documentary."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"A political documentary that is as lovingly developed as the garden cared for by poor immigrants."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
"[Director] Hamilton captures the heart-wrenching devastation done in the name of profit, as citizens mourn. Incredibly effecting."
‑ Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"Scott Hamilton Kennedy's plucky, powerful storytelling makes this a worthwhile experience."
‑ Christy Lemire, Associated Press
"Likely to grab your heart and incite your passions."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
"A compelling documentary about an urban garden collective and their fight for justice in a nation where poor people are expected to keep quiet and not speak truth to power."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"A heartbreaking documentary which landed a well-deserved Oscar-nomination for its touching portrayal of Spanish-speaking salt-of-the-earth who find it hard to fathom that the legal system could possibly side with a crook out to flatten the fruit of their"
‑ Kam Williams, NewsBlaze
More reviews for The Garden on Rotten Tomatoes