Taming the Garden

An old tree with a magnificent crown floats across the sea. What sounds like a surrealist painting is one of the most captivating images in Salomé Jashi’s Taming the Garden. Captivating and ambivalent in equal measure, because transporting the tree forms part of a ludicrous project. An extremely wealthy and politically powerful man collects old trees, which he has dug out and brought to his garden. There is controversial discussion among those watching about why he does it and what they should make of it. Simply because he can afford such an eccentric hobby perhaps? As absurd as the transplanting of the trees appears, it is very much a sign of power, unabashed wealth and the conquest of nature. The viewer can clearly see and hear what it takes to uproot a tree. The trees are grasped with heavy equipment, roads into the mountains have to be built to enable the transport and young trees are felled along the way. The creaking of wood and the sound of metal merge with birdsong. The camera finds great beauty in all of this – in the old trees as well as in the rusty spots on the transport vehicles, and even in the artificially irrigated, eclectic theme park.
by Salomé Jashi Switzerland / Germany / Georgia 2021 Georgian, Mingrelian 91’ Colour

Part of the Berlinale Summer Special


Written and Directed by Salomé Jashi
Cinematography Salomé Jashi, Goga Devdariani
Editing Chris Wright
Sound Design Philippe Ciompi
Music Supervisor Celia Stroom
Sound Nino Tevdorashvili, Ana Davitashvili, Tengo Mandzulashvili, Irakli Ivanishvili
Producers Vadim Jendreyko, Erik Winker, Martin Roelly, Salomé Jashi

Salomé Jashi

Born in 1981 in Tbilisi, Georgia. After studying journalism, she completed a degree in documentary film. Taming the Garden is her second feature-length film following her award-winning debut The Dazzling Light of Sunset (2016).


2006 Their Helicopter; 22 min. 2009 Speechless; 12 min. 2010 The Leader Is Always Right; 43 min. 2011 Bakhmaro; 58 min. 2016 The Dazzling Light of Sunset; 74 min. 2018 The Tower; 4 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2021