Religion and Film (religionandfilm) wrote,
Religion and Film

The Garden of Eden

Week 2/18/07-2/24/07

Journal 5

The next movie was an Indy Film by the name of ‘Garden of Eden’. The movie surrounded itself around a group of individuals, who manage to get themselves caught in a struggle within Mexico, and have their lives come together in one form or another.

In this film we have 2 sets of individuals. One set are those whom are from America, and cross into Mexico looking for something. One girl in particular is looking for her Mexican heritage and culture, while another girl is trying to find herself through other people. We also have another female who comes across the border in hopes of living a better life with her mother and children.

Then on the other side of the film we have an individual who is trying to leave Mexico for North America in the hopes of finding worker and a better life. To use a visual example, both groups are currently in deserts. Our first characters desert is that of her heritage. He believes that by crossing over into Mexico, she will find a ‘garden’ of culture that would show her roots and who she is. Our second character, the America girl, hopes that she can satisfy her artistic calling through leaving the desert of the united states for the culturally and artistically rich Mexico. She too is looking for that Garden on the other side of the Border. This same thing can apply to the lady leaving from Brooklyn with her Kids, and our illegal immigrant. Our Mexican male character has the hopes of dealing the opportunity lacking and job-scarce Mexico for the work rich Garden of the United States.

These characters all share the action of looking for something better. Our different is that they’re looking in opposite directions, but they all share that human tendency of hope and longing. This leads us to ask what is Eden? Why is the movie titled such?

As in Humanity we have a severe wall in our spiritual lives. The Garden of Eden represents a moment in humanity before it’s fall. Before man was sinful and corrupt, there was the garden. It separated humanity from the outside world, and basically divided them from sin and evil. Adam and Eve never had the desire to sin, and it wasn’t until they were tempted by the snake that they fell into sin. God thus takes the two and moves them from the inside of the Garden to it’s outside, where we are left to this day searching for a way back into paradise.

It is this human condition of searching that I would think is reflected in the film. As humans, we express the characteristic of hope.

Hope is defined as: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen (

After the fall, humanity has had the desire to live in Eden. By this definition, is ‘The Garden of Eden’ a movie about hope? I would agree it is. The film is based on individuals trying to bridge over a border (whether it be physical in the males case, or emotional as in the woman with the dead husband) to find something else. They have a ‘desire for a certain thing to happen’.

So we could agree to saying that our characters shared the characteristic of hope. We can also understand that physical or spiritual barrier that they all must climb over in order to reach that area of hope and desire. Yet why do I compare their struggles to the Garden of Eden? Lets compare the definition of an Eden.

Eden is defined as: A place or state of Great Happiness (

I found this interesting. The Garden of Eden would appear to us to be a physical place, and with our characters you would first assume that their physical movement across the border would express their desire for a physical Eden, but is that the case? What strikes me as interesting about our definition is that Eden is either a place or state of happiness. Even though our characters are struggling to overcome their problems by moving locations in hopes of finding an Eden on the other side, it’s their internal environment that needs changing. No matter how far they go, or what border they find, the film hints to us that the Eden they are looking for is not a physical location, but an internal and spiritual peace.

"In Tijuana, the border is a 15-mile-long wall that separates Mexico from the United States. Serena, Jane, and Elizabeth are three women in this hot, dusty border town, each looking for meaning in their lives. Serena, a young Mexican widow, arrives with her three children, ready to build a new life; Jane, an American, is looking for her brother; and Elizabeth, a Mexican-American artist, is in search of her roots. Each one of them finds more than they had expected in this place that is both a refuge for some and a prison for others, a garden and a desert." Starring Bruno Bichir, Gabriela Roel, Renee Coleman, Jeronimo Berruecos, Alan Ciangherotti, Angeles Cruz, Joseph Culp, Ana Ofelia Murguia, Yano Rubinstein, Rosario Sagrav, Lucero Sanchez (

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