The Garden (2008)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, hundreds of mostly Mexican-American families came together and turned a blighted corner of South Central Los Angeles into a 14 acre urban oasis with enough fruit and vegetables to feed hundreds of families.
Documentary , Special Interest
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Written By:
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Critic Reviews for The Garden

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (10)

Justice and Corruption and Profit are abstractions, and film is so ill suited to deal with abstractions.

Full Review… | May 21, 2009
Boston Globe
Top Critic

A good documentary leaves the viewer wanting more. A problematic one leaves the viewer needing more.

Full Review… | May 15, 2009
Washington Post
Top Critic

[Director] Hamilton captures the heart-wrenching devastation done in the name of profit, as citizens mourn. Incredibly effecting.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
New York Daily News
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
New York Post
Top Critic

This intricate and compelling documentary paints a saddening portrait of American politics.

May 8, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

Scott Hamilton Kennedy's plucky, powerful storytelling makes this a worthwhile experience.

May 7, 2009
Associated Press
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Garden

Shocking and emotionally-charged -- and unforgettable. Examines the balance between self-interest and public interest, and what issues arise surrounding an inner-city community garden built on loaned land -- and what happens when the owner decides to sell and develop the land. The staunch capitalists among us will find no moral compunction here, but when political corruption enters the mix, one might find deeper issues at hand, especially considering a truly shocking postscript line of text and final shot that turns the whole film on its head. This was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2009 Oscars and in a weaker year would have won outright; it's one of the best documentaries of last year, probably third to DEAR ZACHARY and the wonderful Oscar winner, MAN ON WIRE.

Corey Craft
Corey Craft

This is a great documentary about a good (horrible) subject in what happened to the garden. This movie has a great pace that gives good background with interviews with just about every key subject. It has twists and turns and you start to identify with many of the subjects. Good footage and great editing. I don't know what else to say about the movie itself other than this is great doc filmmaking. About the subject, this is the sad story of how some people just keep getting screwed over by people in power no matter what. When they try to do it the diplomatic way, it doesn't work. In a passive way, doesn't work. In a direct way, doesn't work. And never physically violent, still screwed. I am glad that this subject can be followed by many and lead to reform. See it.

Lee B
Lee B

The 14 acre community garden in South Central Los Angeles was the largest of it's kind in the United States.

Sue Smith
Sue Smith

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