The brutal creation of a billionaire’s pleasure garden
January 14, 2022 7:22 AM Subscribe
Claire Armitstead in The Guardian on a new documentary by Salomé Jashi. On the surface, Taming the Garden is a faithful record of the tough negotiations and brutal mechanics of tree removal. One family are delighted to sell their tree. They are in debt and have been trying to kill it for years because it blocks the sun from their mandarin orchard. Others are left in grief, with gardens cratered like bombsites. All are unaware that the chosen specimen may not be the only tree to suffer; so will any lesser trees unfortunate enough to impede its transportation, sometimes by two lorries abreast, along roads that have to be specially widened for each journey. From this limb-cracking progress emerges a profoundly moving meditation on power, the vulnerability of nature and the primordial impulse of men to bend the environment to their will.