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Taming the Garden. 2021. Georgia/Switzerland. Directed by Salomé Jashi. In Georgian, Mingrelian; English subtitles. 91 min.
At the center of Salomé Jashi’s spellbinding film is an image of immense power: a massive tree, uprooted from the earth, improbably floating across a vast sea on a raft of soil. This surreal, metaphorically resonant invocation of man’s attempts to harness and control nature is the visual centerpiece of a patient, lyrical documentary about a man of wealth and power—a former Georgian prime minister—and his heaven-and-earth-moving project to transport centuries-old trees from his country’s coastline to his own personal garden. Charting the course of these natural wonders through every step of their journey, Jashi’s film is a magnificent vision of process and hubris.
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