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TAMING THE GARDEN

Salome Jashi / Germany, Georgia, Switzerland / 2021 / 91 min / Danish Premiere
Magritte meets Herzog in an understatedly funny and sweepingly beautiful film that describes a billionaire’s surreal project of subjugating nature.

A mysterious millionaire has ordered some new trees for his garden. The only problem is that they are 15 storeys tall, 100 years old and have to be transported from faraway villages to his palace. Thus begins the Georgian filmmaker Salome Jashi’s festival hit. With surrealist motifs, absurd humour, and an exquisite cinematic aesthetic, she portrays the eccentric project, which seems inspired by both René Magritte and Herzog’s ‘Fitzcarraldo’, and which a team of workers are struggling to achieve. The brains behind it all (the former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili) remains out of sight as a hidden, surreal force in Jashi’s almost dialogue-free film, which elevates the privilege debate to a staggering new level of hubris.