Eva sent me the link to the website for, The Garden, which won best documentary at SilverDocs this year. If you missed the movie at SilverDocs this year, you can catch it November 19th when it will be screened in DC as part of a fundraiser for the 7th Street Garden Project.

About the film:

The fourteen-acre community garden at 41st and Alameda in South Central Los Angeles is the largest of its kind in the United States. Started as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992, the South Central Farmers have since created a miracle in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods. Growing their own food. Feeding their families. Creating a community.

But now, bulldozers are poised to level their 14-acre oasis.

The Garden follows the plight of the farmers, from the tilled soil of this urban farm to the polished marble of City Hall. Mostly immigrants from Latin America, from countries where they feared for their lives if they were to speak out, we watch them organize, fight back, and demand answers:

Why was the land sold to a wealthy developer for millions less than fair-market value? Why was the transaction done in a closed-door session of the LA City Council? Why has it never been made public?

And the powers-that-be have the same response: “The garden is wonderful, but there is nothing more we can do.”

If everyone told you nothing more could be done, would you give up?

About the fundraiser (from the 7th Street Garden website):

Screening at the Goethe Theater (812 7th Street, NW).
Doors 6pm.
Film Starts 6:30pm.
Seasonal foods and drinks will be served.

Tickets $20 each (though more is appreciated). Available at the door OR online at America the Beautiful Fund’s web site. **If buying online you must write in the Comment box that you are purchasing tickets for The Garden movie.**

Sounds like great event, I hope to be there.

Laura and I didn’t get to the theater to pick up our tickets in time to sit together so we had to split up. During the previews, I convinced the geezers I was sitting with to see Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. That was fun.

The guy who was sitting in front of me works for a defense contractor and was forbidden by his employer from seeing the movie. While I salute him for going anyway, I wanted to explain to him, “Dude, if you’d shut up about not being allowed to see the movie, no one around you would know you’re not allowed to see the movie.” I didn’t say anything, but I thought it a lot. I also thought a lot about taking the John Kerry bumper sticker out of my purse and adhering it to his back, but I didn’t do that, either.

There was so much applause I missed a lot of the narration – and we saw the movie in Virginia, where I am often told by Marylanders, we are all without exception intolerant, gun-toting, homophobic, rightwing, assholes. Go figure.

I thought the film was well-paced and well-constructed. Moore is really at the top of his game here – I admit I was a bit worries because I often found The Awful Truth to be sort of meandering and hit or miss, but this time he really gets it right. I’d say it’s one of the most important major releases of the year, in fact I’d say it was the most important release of the year but I think that title goes to SuperSize Me. The longstanding health implications and questions that film raises about what we’re feeding the next generation and what we’re teaching them about nutrition need to be screamed from the rooftops.

Fortunately, you don’t have to choose. You can see them both.

Last night Husband and I were guests of the AFI and Discovery Channel at the presentation of the Charles Guggenheim Award as part of Silverdocs, I’m so greatful to the person who put us on the guestlist, it was such an incredible evening. Not only did I get to speak with two of my heros, Barbara Kopple (the night’s honoree) and Al Maysles (one of the great gods of documentary film), but I got to see Harlan County, USA on the big screen.

After the symposium and the film we attended the closing night gala and ate terrific food and consumed yummy drinks and listened Hazel Dickens perform. I really would have liked to talk to her but she and her band were still going strong when I ran out of steam. I did get to catch up with lots of colleagues who I haven’t seen since I went back out on leave, so that was fun, too.

It’s been an enjoyable documentary weekend. Friday we finally caught Super Size Me and tonight we’re going to see Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.