Taming the Garden

  • Salomé Jashi
  • Georgia, Germany, Switzerland
  • 2021
  • 92 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Best of Fests

In a scene that is as sad as it is absurd, we see a woman watch, sobbing, as an ancient tree is driven by truck, roots and all, out of her village.

The immensely wealthy former prime minister of Georgia, Bidzina Ivanishvili, is developing a private botanical garden full of ancient trees that he has had dragged in from all over the country. In using his power and money to enrich his own life, he is taking away the soul and oxygen from an all but powerless population. Under false pretenses, these mythical giants are being uprooted for a mere pittance, leaving in their wake enormous craters, road congestion, train delays and the destruction of property, local nature, or even the trees themselves.

The journey that follows, over land and sea, is documented in elegant static shots, intercut with scenes in which workers discuss their perspectives about this bizarre job, and villagers struggle to contain their frustration and rage. One or two still harbor the hope that Ivanishvili will come through on his promises. Although the film’s director Salomé Jashi refrains from comment, the political statement is crystal clear.


  • 92 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Georgian
  • Subtitles in: English
Salomé Jashi
Vadim Jendreyko for Mira Film, Erik Winker for Corso Film, Martin Roelly for Corso Film, Salomé Jashi for Sakdoc film
Goga Devdariani, Salomé Jashi
Chris Wright
Sound Design
Philippe Ciompi

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Best of Fests
Supported with €17500 for Classic: Production & postproduction
IDFAcademy Summer School Script

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IDFA history

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