71st Berlinale invites "Taming the Garden"
The 71st Berlin International Film Festival has invited the Filmstiftungs-backed international co-production "Taming the Garden" by Salomé Jashi in the section "Forum". The documentary had its world premiere at the 37th Sundance Film Festival in January.
About „Taming the Garden“
A powerful man buys some 100-year-old trees, as tall as 15-storey buildings, has them uprooted from along Georgia’s coastline and gathers them in his garden. In a complex and expensive procedure, the trees are dug up from private gardens and public spaces, loaded on to two joined lorries and transported to the shore. They are then put on a ferry which sails across the Black Sea to the billionaire’s garden which is hidden behind a high-security fence. The billionaire in question is Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgia’s former prime minister, who continues to control the country’s fortunes like an ephemeral figure. However, the trees themselves are the film’s main characters. They lead us to their owners, to the workers who dig them up, and to the billionaire. The film thus describes the social dynamics between rich and poor and between the powerful and the weak as well as focusing on political despotism and social resistance.
Cologne’s Corso Film co-produced the documentary with Mira Film (Switzerland) and Sakdoc (Georgia) in association with the broadcasters Radio Bremen/ARTE, SRF and YLE. Funding apart from the Filmstiftung included Eurimages, Federal Office of Culture CH, Expert Committee on Film and Media Art in Basle, Georgian National Film Center and the IDFA Bertha Fund.