The Thinking Garden
View select scenes from The Thinking Garden here. The film will be available online in 2019, when we’ve completed our festival circuit.
“A lovely film, rich with song and thought. Weaving the story of the garden with the bigger picture … renders the triumph of the women all the more important.” Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved “Magnificent and inspirational.” Anthropologist Julie Cruikshank “Speaks to the essence and significance of Food Sovereign communities.” Bellise Omondi, Food Sovereignty Campaign, South Africa
“This is a film for Africa – African governments should see this film.” Ida Makuka, Zambia “Even in challenging circumstances, women can prove themselves to their community.” Dalal, Syrian former farmer at Zaatari UNHCR Camp, Jordan
“A revelation … I’ve definitely never seen a more effective and affecting film of this length.” Historian Jason Colby
Official Selection: *Globale Berlin Oct. 2018 *Globale Filmfestival Erfurt, Germany Oct. 2018 (German subtitles) *Canadian selection, UN Women Film Festival Amman, Jordan, Mar 2018 (in Arabic; English) *Pedagogical section, Festival Alimenterre, Belgium, June 2019 *Salt Spring Film Festival Mar 2019 *Cinema Verde International Environmental Film Festival, Florida, Feb 2018 *Semi-finalist, Green Earth Film Festival Los Angeles 2018 *Globale Mittelhessen Film Festival Frankfurt, Jan. 2018 (in German) *ReFrame Film Festival, Peterborough Jan. 2018 *Paris International Lesbian and Feminist Film Festival, Nov. 2017 (in French) *Toronto African Film and Music Festival 2017 *Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF) Malaysia, Oct. 2017 *Antigonish International Film Festival Oct. 2017 *Jozi Film Festival, Johannesburg Sept. 2017 *Vancouver South African Film Festival April 2017 *Vancouver International Women in Film Mar. 2017 – Matrix Award winner
Stay tuned for more news of The Thinking Garden at screenings and festivalsFor upcoming screenings, see our ‘Screenings’ page or Facebook
Interview about the farm with Cyprus radio station January 2019: Kaleid-her-scope on Soundcloud
Film review and discussion in Solidarity Economy News Aug. 2017, the newsletter of South Africa’s Cooperative and Policy Alternatives Centre, Johannesburg
Interview: Elizabeth Vibert and Tori Wong IDEASXCHANGE 29 March 2017 link: Women’s Empowerment and Food Security
Free public screening and launchWed. March 1, 2017 @ 7 pm We filled David Lam Auditorium to the rafters! – and had an ‘overflow’ screening on March 15 University of Victoria A film telling the inspiring story of South African women seeking food justice This is a film about resilience – three generations of older women in a village in South Africa who came together in the dying days of apartheid to create a community garden. In the midst of severe drought and political turmoil, older women with limited access to land and little political voice joined together, beyond the household, beyond their kin, to make something new. They named their garden Hleketani – “thinking” in the local xiTsonga language – a place where women gather to think about how to effect change. The garden provides affordable vegetables to local people, nourishes those living with HIV/AIDS, and offers land, community, and opportunity for women. In short, the garden has helped restore the lives of people pushed to the edge. Filmed against the backdrop of a new drought gripping southern Africa, The Thinking Garden tells the remarkable story of what can happen when older women take matters into their own hands, and shows how local action in food production can give even the most vulnerable people a measure of control over their food and their futures. “We watched riveted … [It’s] inspiring and moving to feel the strength and wisdom of these determined women.” Margie Cogill, Victoria Grandmothers for Africa “Speaks to the essence and significance of Food Sovereign communities.” Bellise Omondi, Food Sovereignty Campaign, South Africa “Heartwarming, thoughtful. A film not to miss.” Melodie Brandon “This film captures something very special.” Christine St Peter “A revelation … I’ve definitely never seen a more effective and affecting film of this length.” Jason Colby Informal reviews: “I feel reverence.” “This is a film for Africa – African governments need to see this film.” “It’s amazing to me how we come to know the women.” “Passionate.” See the story of the film’s making here.
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