Garden of Eden, jardin à la française, English, Zen, Bahai, Arab-Islamic: Gardens reflect history, culture and heritage. They are some of the rare places where intimacy, gatherings, fun and religion coexist. Jardins Paradise ironically diverts the image of the garden as the embodiment of some paradisiacal Eden. It highlights the civic inventiveness of communities stigmatized by a lack of greenery in their neighborhood as well as the contribution of ethnocultural diversity to the urban landscape.
The film imagines young members of the Arab diaspora in Montreal using the means at hand to develop a secular and democratic version of the Arab-Islamic style garden. A parking lot, an arid zone much like the deserts where these gardens originally emerged, has been rehabilitated into an ephemeral garden. In being faithful to the main components of the Arab-Islamic style, the water source is the centerpiece, squares of plants occupy the parking spaces, as well as flowers and fruits, and contemplation is the main activity. Nature is presented artificially, as it is only a momentary paradise, that of individual leisure.
And, what if Paradise was nothing more than a green parking lot designed to suit each and everyone's own preferences?