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press reviews

A bewitching doc… A mythic tale of human and nature… A beautiful piece of nonfiction poetry… Quietly magnificent and strange… Outstanding cinematography… Surreal, serene and maybe just a little bit sacred… Jashi’s film plays more like myth than journalism, as though she is documenting the folklore of the future as it is happening.”

- Jessica Kiang, Variety


“Absorbing… [With] acute sound design... The clash between poverty and privilege is one of several intriguing elements in a film where the offbeat subject matter and striking imagery make an entrancing combination.”

- Allan Hunter, Screen International


One of the “24 must-see movies from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival”

“Salomé Jashi’s low-context, contemplative documentary weaves a mesmerizing spell… Earthy philosophizing takes a backseat to the majestic visuals and their deceptively potent messaging.”

- Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times


“[Taming the Garden is] the film I think that stayed with me the longest… The sight of these astonishingly old and large trees just floating serenely along the coast of the Black Sea is just - that's a vision I will never forget.”

- Kenneth Turan, NPR-Morning Edition


One of “The Best Movies We Saw at Sundance 2021”

“No film has lingered in my memory longer than Salomé Jashi’s deceptively simple spare [Taming the Garden]... Not just because the images are breathtaking. It lays out a complicated argument about ecology, economics, compromise, class, and humanity’s need to conquer and/or “tame” nature without resorting to an attack via polemics. This is a documentary that doubles as a drive-by shooting with silencers.”

- David Fear, Rolling Stone


“A meditative exploration of arboreal transportation… Jashi captures mesmerising footage… There is a grand beauty to Taming the Garden.”

- Caitlin Quinlan, Sight and Sound


“Striking, surreal… Meditative… Full of evocative imagery… Breathtaking visuals… Taming the Garden’s message — or perhaps, warning —becomes eye-opening.”

- Sandi Rankaduwa, POV Magazine


“Majestic images of centuries-old trees floating on the sea, like disturbing dreams, take shape before the viewer’s eyes…. A surreal ode to both nature and human nature… very powerful [imagery], like a short, edgy poem.”

- Giorgia Del Don, Cineuropa


“A savage yet poetic ode… [Taming the Garden]

casts a dazzlingly beautiful, poetic gaze.”

- Muriel Del Don, Cineuropa


“Exquisitely crafted… Jashi weaves together a series of perfectly composed shots, containing the lush magical nature.”

- Lauren Wissot, Filmmaker Magazine


“Striking and memorable… [An] impressive feature doc… 

Amusingly surreal… Elegantly made.”

- Mark Adams, Business Doc Europe


“The production is foremost a visual one, a sequence of primally arresting footage… Restrained, well-composed… [and] compelling throughout.”

- Tarpley Hitt, The Daily Beast


“An evergreen look at gratuitous wealth… visually striking… [Jashi] sets the stage for both the awe-inspiring wonder and callous uprooting of nature explored within this patient, singularly-focused documentary… [She lets] stunning images speak for themselves… The technique is rewarding… the main reveal makes the money shots all the more fascinating.”

- Jordan Raup, The Film Stage


“Do yourself a favor and find a large screen and see Salomé Jashi’s Taming The Garden… Pretty incredible and asks so many questions… Taming the Garden is absolutely gorgeous… breathtaking… This film needs to be seen on a big screen, IMAX if possible.”

- Alan Ng, Film Threat



“A simple synopsis can’t do justice to Salomé Jashi’s documentary… Jashi and co-cinematographer Goga Devdariani capture much [than] the process of moving the trees, a Fitzcarraldo-esque feat of hubris… The simplest images become almost hypnotic… A pure piece of Cinema.”

- Scott Renshaw, Salt Lake City Weekly


“Quietly absurd… By the time we reach the end, it’s overwhelming. We’ve become the [the subjects], and we now understand the great consequences of even the simplest pillaging of nature.”

- Alyssa Wilkinson, Vox


“A slow-burning, transcendentally structured masterpiece… A meditative journey is well worth its weight in gold… One may find themselves thinking about the striking, solemn images, days after watching the film.”

- Jesse Ficks, 48 Hills


“Jashi's great achievements is combining [the] dramatic (and traumatic) with moments of utmost calm and beauty… Incredibly captivating… Beautiful.”

- Calvet González, Criticum


“A very beautiful documentary.”

- Malik Berkati, Le Courrier


“A jaw-dropping record of sublime beauty… Jashi’s deeply metaphorical work reaches far beyond specific circumstances… Taming the Garden taps primal feelings of natural communion, imposed social hierarchy, and deep ur-cultural loss in the ever-fungible 21st-century present… The movie expresses so eloquently: the bargains that the economy forces each of us to make, putting a price on things, especially if we haven’t had to do so before… a striking spectacle.”

- Nic Rapold, Screen Slate


One of “The best movies we watched at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival”

“Taming the Garden stuck with me the most out of the docs I absorbed at Sundance… The documentary rewards the viewer’s attentiveness with hypnotizingly elastic shots and compositions that suggest a profundity amid nature. But there’s an emotional urgency as well… I’m already looking forward to falling under the strange spell of Taming the Garden once again; it’s a documentary worthy of IMAX.”

- David Lynch, CBS-KEN 5


“Singularly startling… Gorgeously bizarre… At once strangely beautiful and hauntingly sad… There is a hypnotic quality to the images… A visually arresting, mind-boggling spectacle in this memorable fly-on-the-wall documentary.”

- Shaun Munro, Flickering Myth


“Taming The Garden is an evocative and expertly crafted rumination on the literal fight between man and nature… Even down to the otherworldly opening shot of a massive tree making its way across the Black Sea, Taming The Garden is a film very much for our moment… A devastating document.”

- Josh Brunsting, Criterion Cast


“Engrossing… Lyrical… Elusive, but offers rare pleasures the few times it's captured.”

- Robert Daniels, Roger


“Both majestic and surreal… Taming the Garden is not a typical issues documentary.”

- Daniel Gorman, In Review Online


“Visually stunning… A film gripped and immersed by an impressive amount of sensual atmosphere… [with] breathtaking composition of each meticulous shot.”

- David Cuevas, Film Hounds


“A visually stunning, observational, entertaining fable… A fascinating tale… Through the use of direct cinema and stunning steady shots, the director crafts a truly spectacular cinematic experience which also proves very poetic and metaphoric…

[Jashi shows] impressive mastery… A beautiful, subtle mosaïque…

Overall, this tale is brilliantly crafted.”

- Medhi Balamissa, Film Festival Report


“A beautifully shot tale of universal caution… A deeply existential cinematic statement… She forgoes the anthropomorphizing of the natural world, shifting her lens to the universal plight of living beings, both sentient and non.”

- Steve Rickinson, Films in Frame

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