A unique and magic vegetable garden behind prison walls. Incarcerated women working in a garden by the lagoon in Venice. This is a story of women, herbs and vegetables.
The women's prison on Giudecca, one of the islands south of Venice, has an unexpected feature: a large fruit and vegetable garden. There are no surveillance cameras here, no wardens. Only six female prisoners at work; planting, pruning, watering to the sounds coming from the lagoon and the rhythm of their own singing. To the chosen few admitted to this section, this small patch of land represents a concrete link to the outside world. With honesty, they reflect on their story and tell us of their hopes for afterwards.
Le Jardin des Merveilles is not a film in praise of the redemptive virtues of incarceration, far from it. It is a human encounter, a beautiful portrait of a group of women who hang in there thanks to a turnip or a cherry.
Le Jardin des Merveilles - 52', 2011
Directed by Anush Hamzehian
Cinematography by Alessandro Comodin
Sound by Enrico Fiocco
Film Editing by Laurence Miller
Produced by Point du Jour / France Télévision
Award Valorisation de la recherche at Festival Filmer le Travail de Poitiers
Selected at the FIGRA, Le Touquet Selected at Cineambiente, Turin
Screened at Veneto Film Festival 2012 FIPAtel 2012 IDFA Docs for Sale 2011 Les Conviviales 2012