Of Parking and Produce

Everybody loves a produce vendor, right? It's almost spring, and the idea of farmers' markets makes American mouths salivate for all that is delicious and juicy and socially and environmentally responsible. But look to the home of democracy, Greece, and the picture is different. For Prokopis Nikolau, an Athens produce vendor from the Roma (Gypsy) community, the summer of 2004 met him with nothing sweet or juicy or socially responsible — not at least in his community. Cameron Hickey and Lauren Feeney's feature-length documentary, Garlic and Watermelons, follows Nikolau and his family as the generations-old shanty town they and 40 other Roma families inhabit is torn down to create a parking lot for the Athens Summer Olympics. Garlic and Watermelons explores a minority community's search for dignity and civil rights as the nation's majority prepares to celebrate its own culture. The free screening is at 6 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard). For more information call 314-535-4660 or visit www.contemporarystl.org.
Thu., March 13, 2008