Where Hope Grows


This 2014 film stars a young man with Down Syndrome, Produce (David DeSanctis), who works at the Fruits and Vegetables section at Walmart.

The film begins with Produce making his own breakfast and cycling to work, to a song with lyrics that begin with In my head I may not know/ What I feel down in my soul/ … Stand strong, hold on to hope/ Grab on, don’t ever let it go.

It then cuts to a scene at a bar where Calvin Campbell (Kristoffer Polaka) celebrates his birthday with friends, getting himself drunk and neglecting his 16-year-old daughter ( McKaley Miller) who stomps out of the house to her boyfriend’s car at 11.15pm.

The next day, a brooding Calvin meets Produce at the supermarket, where the younger man advises: A cheerful heart is good medicine – put a little smile on your face. In fact, he also reminds Calvin that life isn’t fair; sometimes we don’t get what we want.

Calvin used to be a professional baseball player, and Produce has always wanted to play baseball, so Calvin teaches him using a broomstick and fruits like oranges, tomatoes, apples and grapefruit.

As a gesture of thanks, Produce goes to Calvin’s house one night to give him a melon but left his Bible on the front porch. The next day, Calvin gives Produce a ride to church and is invited to attend the service. I guess this part of the film is why it was never shown in a cinema in the neighbourhood.

In other parts of the film, Calvin also teaches Produce how to drive and even gives him an important assignment at a baseball match in a stadium.

I think the message here is: Life is short and it’s meant to be lived with courage and not fear. Life is meant to be lived abundantly.




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