Tuinverhalen (Garden stories)
In his documentary début, director Gerrets describes the role of vegetable gardens in the lives of poor Russians in St. Petersburg and black Americans in Detroit. To nostalgic Petersburgers in their bleak tenement buildings, the dachas are reminiscent of more orderly times. Half of all Russians in the Leningrad region owns a dacha; according to the president of the Russian Gardeners Union, it was even this massive private property that meant the ruin of the Soviet Union. Among the poor blacks in the ravaged city of Detroit, which was built for two million inhabitants, but has only one million left, the farming years were not that popular. The repeated cuts back and forth between the two worlds, with different spokespersons, shows however that today the functions of vegetable gardens largely overlap: both an extra food supply in times of economic adversity and a haven of rest and community spirit.