The Art of Recovery

After the devastating Christchurch earthquake, community members began using newly vacant city land for art, gardens, and gathering spaces.


Peter Young


New Zealand



Running Time

85 mins 


SFGFF Film Program: 

Green Film Fest Screening - April 24, 2017

San Francisco Premiere.

Who gets to make the decisions about what a city looks and feels like? After the devastating earthquake of 2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand, artists and community members began using newly vacant land in the central city for art installations, gardens, and gathering spaces. Developed organically, and below the official radar, these areas thrived – but were in conflict with official plans to build "catalyst projects" seeded by the government and controlled by private developers. In understanding that exciting cities are chaotic rather than plotted and planned, filmmaker Peter Young (The Last Ocean, SFGFF 2014) brings us what the New Zealand Herald calls, "an exhilarating affirmation of people power." - Dan Goldes

DISCUSSION WITH: Peter Young, filmmaker; Fay Darmawi, SF Urban Film Fest