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.
posted by Bella Donna (7 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
This film looks beautiful — wish it was more widely available so I could see it. Thanks for posting.
posted by wesleyac at 8:29 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


If anyone else was confused, the "lime trees" referenced in the article refer to what are commonly called "linden trees" elsewhere.
posted by 1adam12 at 8:37 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Let's stick with Tilia dasystyla; everyone agrees what that is.

This story is not dissimilar to El Olivo, Icíar Bollaín's 2016 film [review] where the tree (as old as Jesus) finishes up in the foyer of a German megacorp. Mulch the rich, comrades!
posted by BobTheScientist at 10:33 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


I found this article that has a few pictures of the park.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:57 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the additional links!
posted by Bella Donna at 2:04 PM on January 14


this movie is *incredible* i saw it last year during online sundance.

If you can see it, definitely do.
it's absolutely surreal and a bit haunting to see a massive old tree roll down the street and get on board a boat and sail away. Here's a great Q&A with the director.

It's not just in Georgia either. The super rich everywhere are hungry for old growth trees.
posted by wowenthusiast at 3:26 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


It looks like both Taming the Garden, as well as the film mentioned by BobtheScientist above, El Olivo, are available on the film streaming website Mubi. I am eager to watch both.
posted by aquamvidam at 4:17 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


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