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.
Source: 71. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin (Catalogue)