« Garden Stories » is a documentary film about allotment gardens in the South of Luxembourg. Allotment gardens are small plots of land made available for individual gardening, and organized in a community. The tradition goes back to the beginnings of steel production in this region. Today witnesses the end of this era, as well as a profound change in Luxembourg’s society, under heavy influence of its nearly 50% immigrant population. These changes are mirrored in the daily life of the garden communities: a microcosm where retired Luxembourgers clash with Portuguese construction workers, or a new wave of immigrants from former Yugoslavia. All with their own habits in regard to gardening, growing cabbages, building garden shacks, or simply having barbecue parties.
Filmed over four seasons, like a leisurely stroll through the garden communities, "Garden Stories" manages to keep a light tone, a touch of humor, without losing sight of the bigger picture. What might be considered an anachronistic legacy of an industrial past, is actually a very lively culture, a laboratory for integration. Also, in times of economic strain, notions of subsistence gardening are suddenly not so outdated anymore. The film sets out to meet the gardeners on a personal level, in natural surroundings where nature competes with industry, wilderness with civilization, and where these very concepts of nature and civilization are being questioned.
Director: Yann Tonnar
Produced by: Anne Schroeder (Samsa)
DP: Olivier Koos
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