The gardener that had no projects
miniDv, 11’, colour, sound, 2003
This is an essay film that introduces us to a unique character, a philosophy graduate working as a gardener in the famous botanical gardens of Coimbra, Portugal. This gardener wishes to free himself from “all that junk” and live the present moment, since he does not believe in anything great, in any ideology, or any fiction. “What is love if not an illusion?”, he wonders. Obsessed with the fleeting nature of things, this is a man who wishes to reach the immaterial plane. But then a contradiction appears: this transparent man, without any substance, as he has no objectives, no future, is obsessed by memories. He collects an archive of photographs…Through watching his manual labour and the practical attention he lavishes on all his plants’ needs, we are given a feeling of both the intense mental work he carries out and the poetic sensibility that guides his way of life. In the end, the tamed nature of the gardens and the subtle nature of human thought are seen as inseparable, as we are guided by the intelligent discourse of the protagonist and by the dazzling beauty of the flowers.