In his 15th century novel, Las Sergas de Esplandian, Spanish author, Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo gave shape to the myth of California, an island inhabited by beautiful black warriors and ruled by the Amazonian queen, Calafia, who led an arsenal of griffins ready to do her bidding. Today two stone statues flank the entrance to former San Francisco mayor, James D. Phelan’s palatial estate located in Saratoga, CA, best known today as the Montalvo Arts Center. Phelan was responsible for obtaining Tuolumne River water rights, which ultimately led to the damming of Hetch Hetchy Valley. Folly Gardens is an animated essay about the Sunol and Pulgas water temples of Northern California and the role they played in the Hetch Hetchy water wars, with live music by David Eng and the whispered voices of John Muir and James D. Phelan read by Paul Antebi.

folly gardens still

Folly Gardens Sunol Temple

Folly Gardens