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Kopfkino at Stirchley Baths: Can You Dig This

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I love living where I do and I love seeing films that make me think.  And lucky for me the two combine with Kopfkino, a quarterly film club that shows a film or documentary aimed at getting you thinking.

Kopfkino, which literally translates from German is “head cinema”, has previously put on I Daniel Blake and a documentary about the Syrian crisis.  This time round it was a bit more upbeat, with a documentary called Can You Dig This.

Set in South Los Angeles, infamous for gangs, drugs, liquor stores, abandoned buildings and vacant lots, Can You Dig This follows the lives of several of South LA’s local residents through their urban gardening, showing how they are trying to transform their neighbourhoods through an urban gardening, and changing their own lives in the process.

The evening started with a talk from Northfield Eco Centre, in the process of rebranding to Eco Birmingham, about the work they do on encouraging sustainable living through grass roots activities, events and programmes for the local community.  One of the projects, Edible Brum, helps people to learn how they can grow it themselves, and looks at ways to tackle food poverty and waste.

I’d seen the TED talk of Ron Finley, one of the subjects of the documentary as a previous TEDxBrum and adored his no-nonsense attitude to wanting to change the food desert in his neighbourhood.  But Can You Dig This went one step further, looking at other residents on south LA, including two men who had previously been released after a long stint in prison, a woman who had dreams of becoming a healthcare professional and a somewhat lost man who found belonging in the community gardens.  It is a charming and uplifting documentary that made me want to go plant a vegetable garden – sadly the lack of garden hinders that somewhat.

For a taster of the documentary, here’s Ron Finley’s TED Talk…

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