South Los Angeles. What comes to mind is gangs, drugs, liquor stores, abandoned buildings and vacant lots.
The last thing that you would expect to find is a beautiful garden sprouting up through the concrete, coloring the urban landscape. As part of an urban gardening movement taking root in South LA, people are planting to transform their neighborhoods and are changing their own lives in the process.
Calling for people to put down their guns and pick up their shovels, these “gangster gardeners” are creating an oasis in the middle of one of the most notoriously dangerous places in America.
CAN YOU DIG THIS follows the inspirational journeys of four unlikely gardeners, discovering what happens when they put their hands in the soil. This is not a story of science and economics. This is a story of the human spirit, inspiring people everywhere to pick up their shovels and “plant some shit.”
The film stars a cross-section of urban gardeners, including Ron Finley, the “Gangster Gardener” whose unexpected tactics have made him one of LA’s most widely known activists, 23-year-old former gang member, Mychael “Spicey” Evans and 21-year-old orphan Kenya Johnson who find hope at the Compton Community Garden, eight-year-old Quimonie Lewis who oversees a garden at her home in the projects, and former inmate Hosea Smith whose garden feeds his fellow residents at a halfway house.
CAN YOU DIG THIS is directed by Delila Vallot (Tunnel Vision).Also a actress and dancer, this is Vallot’s first feature length documentary.The film is produced by Rafael Marmor and Christopher Leggett of Delirio Films and Delila Vallot.Grammy®, Academy® and Golden Globe® Award winner, John Legend, is executive producer along with Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius from his Get Lifted Film Co.Legend also wrote an original song for the film entitled “Skyway”. David Sitek, from the band TV On The Radio, composed the original score.