Magnificent7 – Salomé Jashi: Taming the Garden

In this text the directors of the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade (October 2 – 6) gives their reasons for showing the film at a special screening followed by their intro-review for the film that is shown on the last day, October 6 at 6pm.

Nature, the planet and all of us have been hit by numerous tragedies again this year. They continue to threaten to destroy not only our civilization, man as a species, but all life on Earth. Fires of unimaginable proportions and consequences ravaged Greece, destroying in front of them all living beings. Thousands of acres of virgin forests have been destroyed in the north of the island of Evia. Also, an ancient olive grove was burned near the village Rovies, and in it a 2500-year-old olive tree called Nymph, still fruitful. It was described in ancient times by the geographer and philosopher Strabo. It was among the oldest trees in the world. “This 2500 year old three in the Greek island of Evia saw civilizations rise, crumble and fall. It couldn’t survive this one. But perhaps it glimpsed the crumbling.”

We dedicate this special projection to the olive Nymph with the deepest sorrow.

Below the intro/review of the film written by Svetlana and Zoran Popovic:

Georgia, Switzerland, Germany 2021 
79 minutes 
directed by: Salomé Jashi 

A film that marked Sundance Film Festival and the Berlinale with its poetic cry for the salvation of nature and the planet. 

Shot in the rural areas of Georgia, this film is a turbulent amalgam of harsh reality and surreal scenes, dreamlike images that carry the deepest representations of the symbolism of the collective unconscious. The film is an incredible saga about the life of trees that many neither respect nor see as living creatures. This is the saga about taming the very essence of nature, about an astonishing endeavor arising from the bizarre need of people of power and money, about an endeavor that inflicts intense suffering and sorrow. This is the document of eradication in the basic meaning of the word in order to satisfy the perverted idea of moving hundred-year-old trees from their natural environment of forests and villages to a newly created park, grove, in a domesticated garden of trees, as in a collection of butterflies pierced by pins. Before our very eyes, reality turns into a legend about a cursed land, into a fairy tale about an enchanted forest, into stories about a hidden powerful giant that moves the world. Stunning scenes never seen in reality on such a scale but only in intense dreams, strike us with their presence in the world that we have allowed to be handed over to those who understand nothing about nature its living beings. The exceptional subtlety of perception and the great artistic talent of the author poetize this story, which remains in us as a painful ode to our fellow relatives in life and our silent protectors. 

Salomé Jashi turns her film into the voice of trees of the entire planet. 

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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