August: Portrait of a Garden

August 10, 2017

The oldest and most beautiful “kitchen garden” in the Netherlands, owned by Daan van der Have who cares for it with 85-year-old pruning master Jan Freriks, belongs to an estate that dates backs to 1630. Rosie Stapel’s debut feature records their passionate oversight of the vegetables and flowering trees to which they are devoted. The two are marvelous company, whether shaping a black mulberry, debating the proper care for garlic, fennel, spring green cabbage, beetroot or Japanese wine berry, or contemplating their 15-year wait for pear trees to grow. Their connoisseurship, knowledge, and exacting care, bear beautiful fruit – and an elegant, meditative film.

September: Fresh

September 12, 2017

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.

October: Juliette of the Herbs

October 10, 2017

JULIETTE OF THE HERBS is a beautifully filmed lyrical portrait of the life and work of Juliette de Bairacli Levy, world renowned herbalist, author, breeder of Afghan hounds, friend of the Gypsies, traveller in search of herbal wisdom and the pioneer of holistic veterinary medicine. For more than 60 years Juliette lived with the Gypsies, nomads and peasants of the world, learning the healing arts from these peoples who live close to nature. Juliette’s well-loved and now classic herbals for animals and for children have been a vital inspiration for the present day herbal renaissance and holistic animal care community. Juliette’s extraordinary life story is as colorful and as exciting as her tremendous wealth of herbal knowledge. Filmed on location with Juliette and her Afghan hound in Greece, Spain, France, Portugal, Switzerland, England and America and interwoven with Juliette’s vast collection of archival photographs, together with scenes of Gypsies dancing and Bedouins with their herds, JULIETTE OF THE HERBS is an inspiring portrait of a remarkable healer.

November: Fish Tail (Rabo de Peixe)

November 14, 2017

Rabo de Peixe is a village in the Azores that is home to the largest collection of artisanal fisheries on the whole archipelago. Joaquim Pinto and Nuno Leonel first came here at the end of 1998 to see in the New Year. After befriending a young fisherman named Pedro, they decided to make a film with him over the following year, a TV documentary later tampered with by the broadcaster and shown only once.
They have now edited the same material into something new, a tender essay rooted in friendship and fascination. The two of them follow Pedro out to sea to land mackerel and swordfish or just drink in the atmosphere of the island: rippling fish shoals, fireworks over the harbor, a procession through slender white streets, bodies on black sand. Themes emerge unobtrusively: the virtue of working by hand, industrial restrictions, the slippery concept of a free man. Here, friends can easily commandeer the camera, there’s enough room for sea monsters and stories and the very grain of the footage adds to its beauty.

By the end, Portugal has the euro, songs are sung and somebody is missing. A bygone era, near and yet far, images of happiness of things no longer there.

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