A showcase of the winning Environmental Feature Film of 2022.
UNCERTAIN GARDENS, 77min., Italy, Documentary
Directed by Emilio Neri Tremolada
Crossing the manifold experiences of nature, Uncertain Gardens captures the intimate dilemma of contemporary gardening and of those who practice it.
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Pushing to the fringes of the functions in which the garden is now frayed, Uncertain Gardens asks what sum can be put back together.
Without judgment or sentiment, Uncertain Gardens picks up the silent movement of the vegetation surrounding the urban areas, the patient industriousness of the humans who raise queen bees, the decades-long harvest of forgotten varieties of fruit, the mystical creativity of a bone and rock sculptor, the dedication of ordinary people in the collective farming of vegetables, and that of the individual in tending to the garden so as not to damage the soil.
Appearing in the film are the fleeting thoughts of Lara Amalfitano for her country garden, the ailanthus, locust, and populus trees growing in the former Innocenti factory area, the nocturnal suggestions of a barn owl and of a white cat that summon Francesca Bettini to take care of an old garden, the sisterhood with bees of Benedetta Berardi, who selects queen bees and assists their families, Carla Leni’s food garden between the earth and moon, the sculptures of rocks, iron tools, and bones in Lorenz Kuntner’s vegetable garden, Isabella Della Ragione’s knowledge and ancient fruit varieties, and the gardeners of the San Faustino shared garden in Milan.
In the relentless slide towards post-modernity, Uncertain Gardens has decided to go against the tide and rebuild a whole, a set of playful, social, humane activities and practices designed for food, to protect the environment and fauna, or simply driven by a calling for ornamentation.
Guided by a sense of poetry, with an authentic intention to explore an art form that has long been torn between science, hobby, pleasure, and intuition, Uncertain Gardens pursues the question and answer that have always ruffled the minds of gardeners: What makes a garden a garden?
I started my career in 1975 as a reporter. I then worked with various kinds of professional photography. Specifically, I have been working for design and furniture companies and publications since the 1980s, creating catalogues, editorials, and advertising campaigns. For several years I have been creating videos on Italian design and in 2014 I began the cultural project design[in]video, which aims to bear witness to, historicize, and disseminate the various aspects of Italian design through interviews and video narratives. I am also working on the documentation of traditional Italian music with the Italian Popular Music project.