USA, 1998, 52 mins.
Producer: Maria Holter
One of many lovely moments in this ode to Manhattan's East Village community gardens comes early in the film, as a tranquil musical passage vies for attention with a burst of police radio static. David Evans' lyrical yet gritty film is filled with such poetic contrasts as it chronicles four seasons in the lives of its memorable characters. Among them: Adam Purple, a radical, makes earth from his own waste - Normand Vallee has his last summer in the garden before dying of AIDS - Pablo, a squatter, works on his garden even though he is facing eviction. "There is a Planet Under the Concrete," says one hand-painted sign, and this seems to be Evans' motto, as he digs beneath the poverty and controversy to reveal the fertile soil of community pride. - Eddie Cockrell