Taming The Garden is documentary filmmaking at its best. Big World Pictures will be releasing be releasing the doc by filmmaker Salomé Jashi. Winner of multiple film festival awards and a nominee for Best Documentary at the 2021 European Film Awards, Taming The Garden will open at the New Plaza Cinema in New York on September 30th, and will screen at Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles on October 10 & October 11.
The opening shot of this striking environmental tale captures a tree as tall as a 15-story building floating on a barge across the vast Black Sea. Its destination lies within a garden countless miles away, privately owned by a wealthy and anonymous man whose passion resides in the removal, and subsequent replanting, of foreign trees into his own man-made Eden.
With astonishing cinematic style, Taming The Garden tracks the surreal uprooting of ancient trees from their Georgian locales. With each removal, tensions flare between workers and villagers. Some see financial incentives – new roads, handsome fees – while others angrily mourn the loss of what was assumed an immovable monolith of their town’s collective history and memory. With a steady and shrewdly observant eye, Jashi documents a single man’s power over Earth’s natural gardens: how majestic living artifacts of a country’s identity can so effortlessly become uprooted by individuals with no connection to the nature they now claim as their own.
As per Salomé Jashi (Director, Writer, Cinematographer), "Some time ago, the entire country of Georgia witnessed a surreal scene – a large tree floating in the sea. That was when we learned that the most powerful man in the country had a new passion – to own century-old trees on his private estate. I embarked on filming this process as Georgia’s whole coastline was involved in implementing one man’s desire. I wanted to explore what was behind this mesmerizingly strange image; to tell about the ambition of a powerful man, who alters landscapes, moves trees, leaves witnesses perplexed – all for the sake of his pleasure”.
Salomé Jashi was born in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1981. She first studied journalism and worked as a reporter for several years. In 2005 she was awarded a British Council scholarship to study documentary filmmaking at Royal Holloway, University of London. Salomé’s The Dazzling Light of Sunset (2016) was awarded the Main Prize at Visions du Réel’s Regard Neuf Competition as well as at ZagrebDox, Jihlava IDFF, Valdivia IDFF, and several other festivals.