Captured over five years as part of the Localising Food Project, Edible Paradise shares the dream of greening post-quake Canterbury by saving valuable heritage fruit and nut varieties from the bulldozers.
The project tries to ensure that genetic diversity, medical benefits and historic links will remain available to future generations.
Part of the 2018 DocEdge Cinematic Festival - see http://docedge.nz/ for more details.
This was the documentary that was simultaneously inspiring and disappointing. A brilliant New Zealand based documentary that looks at alternative uses for Christchurch's red zones post-earthquake. And while I fully support the movement to grow more heritage edible plants in community spaces, the way that the documentary displays things is rather off-putting; it comes off as a form of self-flagellation.
If you want to see the overly-stereotypical vegan, organic, smug hippies that the media portrays, then this documentary is for you. For example, you will get to watch a man get interviewed, who refuses to stop playing his ukulele-like instrument throughout until he decided to climb onto a shed to pick fruit from a tree. Do you like learning about the many varieties of apples followed by derision and condescension for purchasing the limited options from the supermarket?
There were many parts that I loved. I loved the whole idea of using the unbuildable land of the red zones to plant heritage edible trees to allow the community to feed themselves. I enjoyed seeing how they engaged and got the support of the local councils. I was amazed at the number of fruit varieties that actually existed in New Zealand before organised agriculture and horticulture. But the overwhelming smugness and condescension that I felt directed towards me when I watched the documentary, was less enjoyable. It felt less like a DIY guide to starting your own food forest, and more like an "in-your-face big vege" feature film.
A good message with a poor attitude. Realistically, the documentary could have been condensed down into a 20-30 minute short. I had big hopes for the piece, as my studies in environmental management have opened my eyes to the virtues of a less wasteful way of living, trying to increase genetic biodiversity in our food supply, and maintaining independence from the supermarkets, but the pretentious nature of people that follow that lifestyle is very noticeable.
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