Garden Lovers

"Eedenistä pohjoiseen" is a charming but pointless documentary about five devoted couples who love to garden; it was submitted by Finland (English captions) for our 2014 Seattle International Film Festival.

Director Virpi Suutari has already collected the Main Prize (for films over 30 minutes) at the Tampere International Short Film Festival (this film runs a tidy 74 minutes), so the film comes highly recommended, even though many of us in the screening audience were less than charmed.

We saw five couples:
  • One couple has been married for over 65 years and they want to die on her hundredth birthday...in each other's arms.
  • A pair of spry nudists race around their lovely garden. He's a CSI investigator and I'm not sure what she does.
  • A gay couple has a nice working relationship, one does the gardening and housework...in the nude (watch him climb over a barbed-wire fence), while the other works for an multi-national corporation...in a suit. His tween-age daughter visits on weekends and holidays.
  • One widower ran an ad for a companion and received over 100 replies. He chose #98. They get along like gangbusters and she loves to garden. She is out so late a fox keeps her company.
  • One elderly couple has a sad story: She suffers from chronic leukemia, but it has no effect on their devotion.
This documentary lacked a narrative, it was scattered and unfocused. Of course there are many lovely shots of flowers, butterflies (on pins!), waving grasses and ponds, plus a cute little bust of Elvis in one garden, but many of us got a nice snooze during this one...Yawn...