Gaining Ground explores the topics of food justice and environmental justice by following three intertwining narratives: the story of Urban Tilth, a community garden movement in Richmond, CA (a Bay Area city heavily polluted by oil refining), and the experience of two farms in Oregon that make the decision to go from conventional to organic farming. All three stories are compelling, but the story of Urban Tilth is especially so; a huge oil refinery fire nearby occurs midway through the filming, and we see how Urban Tilth director Doria Robinson—an amazing activist—and the organization’s many volunteers negotiate this challenge.
The filmmaker, Elaine Vasquez, will attend the screening. She and her partner, Barbara Bernstein, who did the sound for the film, will be available for a Q&A after the screening. Barbara produces radio documentaries on environmental issues for KBOO, and she herself has a lot of insight to share about regional environmental issues.