Patxi Uriz defends the value of vegetable gardens in ‘The Last of La Mejana. Rebellion and Hope’

Patxi Uriz, director of The Last of La Mejana. Rebellion and Hope
  • The Cinema & Climate Change section of the 65th Seminci will screen the feature film ‘Los últimos de La Mejana, rebeldía y esperanza’, directed by Patxi Uriz, and the short film ‘Grandpa Fire’, directed by Alfonso O’Donell

10/28/2020.- Los últimos de La Mejana, rebeldía y esperanza (The Last of La Mejana. Rebellion and Hope) sprang from a conversation between director Patxi Uriz and Tudela-born cook Santi Cordón, a son of a gardener who regretted not having spent enough time learning the trade alongside his father. “Santi suggested that we write a book on the subject, but I thought it was better to give voice to it and be able to actually show it,” explained the director.

During the screening, Santi Cordón stressed how “we are losing touch with the land and the power to grow food for ourselves”. When he started the film, Patxi Uriz was surprised by the fact that “there were 1,500 truck gardeners in Tudela 40 years ago, whereas now there are only 25 left”.

This feature film seeks to defend the importance of taking care of nature, as well as raise awareness of how neglected the gardening trade has been for years.

Before the screening, the filmmaker explained to the audience that he wanted to depict the “rebellion of gardeners who remain rooted to the land”, and also the “hope” they still have that the trade will live on.

One of the main characteristics of the film is how many children take part in it. The director believes education is crucial.

“You can see two types of child education in the film,” said the director. On the one hand, the Pamplona City Council’s pilot project about daycare centers feeding the children on organic products. On the other hand, the way awareness is raised when they go in the gardens to practice. Similarly, he stressed that the most important thing is “teaching how to grow vegetables in a fun and enjoyable way”.

The love for the land and being able to raise people’s awareness through their films were the foundations these two directors shared.

Grandpa Fire

Alfonso O’Donell also attended the Seminci to present his short film Grandpa Fire. The film tells the story of a girl of Peruvian descent, born in the West, who uses her thoughts to show both her grandfather’s teachings and her eagerness to keep her culture and roots alive. “We were trying to get inside a world which reflected the need to take care of nature,” the filmmaker told the audience.

Finally, both directors said how grateful they were to be able to take part in the 65th Seminci. They highlighted what an honor it is, since Seminci is “one of the big festivals” and “competing for the Green Spike” poses quite a challenge.

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