Victor and I went to see this movie last night--the first screening on our 2008 Chicago International Film Festival schedule.
A group of Latinos in South Central LA spent more than a decade tending a 14-acre community garden, until a backroom deal involving a member of the City Council threatened their eviction. While this pretty much is a classic good guys/bad guys story, the movie also manages to convey a lot of the complexities of personality and politics that have been involved. We're not that familiar with LA politics, but we had thought highly of its mayor. The movie made us wonder about him. It also made us wonder how many stories like this take place in the background of Chicago politics. The movie reminds us that we urgently need a different kind of politics.
One of the fun things about seeing movies at the Chicago Film Festival is sometimes the directors, or other key players show up. In this case, director Scott Hamilton Kennedy took questions after the screening. He was wearing a tee shirt with Barack Obama's face on it. It's wonderful to see people who are doing such great things in the flesh.
On the ballot provided by the film festival, we both gave The Garden our highest rating.