Movie review: Grow Your Own

Generally speaking, British people love gardening. I guess 90% of the houses have its own garden, there is a huge amount of the TV shows about the subject, and people actually talk about it on a daily basis: at work, three of my colleagues start their day by telling each other what they have done in their gardens the night before. Really. I find it fascinating. I am not a big gardener myself but I have tried to plant the odd tomato and the odd herb here and there. But I digress.

Nothing is more British than the Allotments: a small area of land divided into plots, which people rent, for a very small price and on a yearly basis; where they go to plant their own food. Usually people with small or no gardens at home are the ones to rent the space and there are loads, everywhere.

Grown your own is about one of these allotments: it shows how there is a sense of community with its own rules where people go not only to do some gardening but for a bit of a social gathering as well. It starts when this community of sorts, is threatened by the arrival of a groups of refugees (Chinese and Cubans) who were allocated plots by social workers.

It is a clash of two worlds – the typically, traditionally British allotment and the incoming flux of foreigners, with different languages, different culture and *gasps* different food stuff to be planted. It is a smart small movie which shows within a small confined place, the problems that come from xenophobia but also what happens when people open their hearts to what is different, to what is new. It is a reflection of the divergent feeling towards the amount of immigrants that arrive here every day: there are the ones that wish to close the borders, the ones that prefer to blame the outsiders for their own problems and the ones that are open for the eclecticism that comes when different people get together, if there is willingness for cooperation and for friendship.

And it is also a movie about the biggest melon in the allotment and a lot more.

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