Lessons From The Flowerbed tells the real story of a man who is somewhat surprised to find himself standing for presidency, never mind becoming the leader of a nation, Uruguay, from 2010 to 2015.
For capitalism to thrive it requires our participation. This is just one of the nuggets of wisdom bestowed upon the audience by José (Pepe) Mujica in relaxed interviews on his and his wife’s modest chrysanthemum farm with a run-down car and dilapidated, beloved dog.
Far from being a film chock full of gardening tips (which I wouldn’t have sniffed at) Lessons From The Flowerbed is a snapshot of one person’s grounded efforts towards a better future, from within the system, after a life of violent acts against the status quo from without. And whilst it does a grand job of showcasing so much of such a full and varied existence it can only find time to allude to other stories that may yet, and I hope, find a place in other films to come.
I left this film with a feeling that great things really can be accomplished when the right people are in the right place at the right time. And I’m sure that that is all that Pepe Mujica, humble to the extreme, would have you think he was.