The Garden | Chicago Reader

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80 minutes

Directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy, this lively 2008 feature documents the fight to save a 14-acre community garden in South Central Los Angeles. Created in the wake of the 1992 riots and farmed primarily by Latin American immigrants, the garden became the object of a furious legal battle in 2003, when the city council decided to sell the land to a developer in a series of highly suspect closed-door transactions. Kennedy presents the conflict's social and political realities in all their messy complexity, from the rifts between the Latino and black communities to the tensions that arose among the farmers as the litigation dragged on. One wishes Kennedy had clarified where the farm's profits were going, but this is a compelling look at the use and abuse of urban political power. In English and subtitled Spanish.

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