Tobe Carey

Sweet Violets (2012) DVD, , 4 min

Genre: Documentary

Keywords: environment & nature, history

In the Gilded Age and beyond, high fashion decreed that violets were the flower of choice for Valentine's Day, Easter and a fragrant corsage. At its height, in the years before World War I, Rhinebeck, New York, growers shipped millions of sweet violets (viola odorata) the New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and beyond.

Sweet Violets explores the mythology and history surrounding violets through the use of Greek poetry, Native American tales and stories of historical figures like Napoleon and and Frederic Chopin. A clinical herbalist introduces and explains the medicinal and culinary properties of cultivated and wild violets.

Sweet Violets includes vintage photographs and postcards, rare film footage, 19th century music and literature. All these, plus interviews with historians and commercial growers, tell the neglected story of sweet violets and their effort on a small Hudson Valley town.

Rental: $70

DVD NTSC Sale: $70 - institutional / $30 - individual

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