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57 - LES HORTILLONNAGES - FRANCE

26'
format hd
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Episode

Not far from downtown Amiens, hundreds of islets seem to float on the Somme river’s waters. They all form a mosaic of gardens. For centuries the riparian landscape was dedicated to agriculture.

In the fifteenth century the Picards nicknamed it “hortillonnage”, from the latin hortellus, “small garden”. A thousand vegetable growers nourished the entire city of Amiens – which was then undergoing rapid expansion. Their produce was even exported as far as London.
But in the 1950s, the local production rates fell and the “hortillons” became increasingly rare – thus begging the question of the safeguard of this vast and unique floating garden. And so began a colossal endeavor to dig 65km of canals and raise the soil levels. Since then, the riverbanks have needed constant surveillance and upkeep to prevent the land from sinking back into the water.
If the 70s’ rapid urbanization threatened the site – especially with its infamous highway project – the local community now recognizes the exceptional value of this green lung in the middle of the city.

Director(s) : MOEHR (LELIO)

Producer(s) : Bo Travail !, ARTE FRANCE

Production Year : 2018
Language(s) : German, French

Rights : DVD, NON-THEATRICAL, INTERNET, TV, VOD

Territories : Worldwide.