Cinequest 2024 – Eden

This one of a series of reviews from this year’s Cinequest film festival in San Jose, California. Read more about the festival here, and buy tickets for showings of this and other films here.

A family that operates one of California’s most historic wineries struggles with succession in this hauntingly beautiful meditation on balancing personal and professional identities.

Jeffrey and Ellie Patterson have dedicated 40 years of their lives to one of California’s most historic wineries, Mount Eden Vineyards. As they prepare to pass the estate on to their children they are confronted with the challenges of mixing family and business.

The documentary Eden is a love story about the Mount Eden winery, which is located on a mountain top in Santa Clara County, California. The movie lovingly documents the beauty of the location and of the winery. The cinematographers, Isiah Flores and Christopher McGilvray (who is also the director), did fantastic work. Even the camera work of the workers in the fields were beautifully lit and fascinating. The views of the winery and the Santa Clara County valley were so beautiful that the story almost didn’t matter.

Christopher McGilvray began working on this film seven years ago and went back yearly to interview the family that are the managers, workers, and primary shareholder of Mount Eden winery. The Patterson family started at Mount Eden winery in the 1990’s and have lived there ever since.

Through the interviews you learn that the adult children left the isolated winery for college and their own lives before coming back to start taking over some of the responsibilities of the winery. There is some tension in the story of the family, but it never takes away from the beauty of the scenery.

I highly recommend seeing the movie, “Eden”  Unfortunately, it is not showing again at Cinequest 2024, but the director is taking the movie to other festivals and is hoping to get a distributor so watch for it!

Unfortunately no additional live shows but you can watch Eden online through Cinejoy.

Debbie Bretschneider
March 10, 2024
San Jose, California

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