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PORTRAIT OF A GARDEN

12:30   2:40   4:50   7:10   9:25

Final Day - Tuesday, November 1

WRITTEN, PRODUCED, AND DIRECTED BY ROSIE STAPEL

The oldest and most beautiful “kitchen garden” in the Netherlands belongs to an estate that dates backs to 1630. Today it is owned by Daan van der Have, who cares for it meticulously, with 85-year-old pruning master Jan Freriks. Rosie Stapel’s debut feature records their passionate oversight of the innumerable vegetables and flowering trees to which they are devoted. The two are marvelous company, whether shaping a black mulberry espalier (the rules for which date back to King Louis XIV), debating the proper care for bear’s garlic, fennel, spring green cabbage, beetroot or Japanese wine berry, or contemplating their 15-year wait for the pear trees on both sides of an arbor to grow into a perfect semi-circle. They console themselves that “banking will diminish due to automation, but thinning our plums is here to stay.” Their  connoisseurship, depth of knowledge (extending back generations), and exacting care, bear beautiful fruit – and an elegant, meditative film.

THE NETHERLANDS • 2015 • 98 MINS. • IN DUTCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES • GRASSHOPPER FILM

Reviews

“A fine film marked by the tender friendship between two elder masters of their craft. The passion (gardening) inspires in people of all kinds, the dignity of its required labor, the camaraderie these passions and labors may build…and its aesthetic property…(this) documentary highlights every one of these aspects through a delicately composed cinematic framework.”
– Nick Newman, The Film Stage