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Michela Maria
United States, 2022, 28 min.

In English with Italian subtitles.

Heirloom is a documentary about a mother and daughter who set out to discover why Italian Americans still love to garden. Along their journey, they reconnect with their Italian roots, meet notable Italians (like Isabella Rossellini), and even travel back to the motherland itself. Heirloom is a recipient of the Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum grant.

Director's Statement

Growing up, whenever my mother invited me to garden with her, I always turned her down. Why till soil when I’ve got Twitter to scroll? Why painstakingly plant seeds when I can buy perfect produce at Whole Foods? And most importantly, why shovel manure when I could do literally anything else? And so, when my mom asked me to direct a documentary investigating why Italians love to garden, you can guess my first response... why? But as we made the film, I discovered that a garden isn’t really about vegetables; it’s about family. For Italians, Italian Americans, and other immigrant communities, a garden doesn’t just nourish your family, it preserves it. And if I wanted to preserve my family, I had to dig. Making Heirloom helped me reconnect with my roots. I hope watching it will help other families reconnect with theirs.

Category: Short Doc.

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