The People Garden, written and directed by Nadia Litz, follows Sweetpea on her quixotic journey filled with first curiosities and absurdities, and later unnerving revelations and chilling realities. That she wants to end a relationship in person instead of say, over phone, text, or simple 21st century ghosting, is just one of the ways Litz comments on social interaction.
The People Garden (2016), Opens September 12th
It seems Jamie has wandered off on his own volition, leaving behind a crew waiting his return, including a former sex symbol now in her later years (Pamela Anderson), who is starring alongside Jaimi in this video. The crew includes a group of men who speak calmly about otherwise troublesome incidents, and often huddle and whisper when Sweetpea is away.
Litz has a knack for turning seemingly innocuous shots into something unsettling, and there is a patience to the pacing and storytelling that is simultaneously calming. One of the first shots has Sweetpea standing on front of a customs agent in Japan, who is wearing a white mask over his mouth, asking a question in the most robotic of voices. Litz, whose previous works include Hotel Congress and Big Muddy, also has a tendency to wonderfully break free of the stereotypical confines and notions of low-budget Canadian films.
We know something in this world is off, we know it’s probably nothing especially pleasant, but The People Garden has a clarion voice and focused idea.
~~ Anthony Marcusa, intheseats.ca