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“We Had Found Ourselves in the Fairytale”: Director Salomé Jashi | Taming the Garden

Taming the Garden

How did events of 2020—any of them—change your film, either in the way you approached it, produced it, post-produced it, or are now thinking about it?

By the start of 2020 we had completed filming and had already started editing. Together with the editor Chris Wright, we were shaping a new world where nothing would be stable, nothing and no one could be trusted, where trees could move. We were half way through editing in Berlin, building this surrealistic world, an unreal world, when the pandemic struck. And suddenly, it was as if we were living in our film or our film had become real. We had found ourselves in the fairytale, both in the film and in reality, when some great external forces totally reshape our values, not just lifestyle. 

The film describes a world where one man’s desire, craving for magnitude, is so big that it transforms actual physical landscapes. We describe this case as something that is already happening, the reality has already flipped. But we are also magnifying it, or relating it to other irreversible processes, man-made or not, that transform humanity. With the virus arriving in the streets outside our editing studio, this idea that had grown in our minds and on the timeline, became extremely tangible. The correlation of the two—the editing timeline and the new normal outside—did give me personally the courage to embrace abstract elements in the film even more as the world had already gotten used to it. With the 2020 experience we had moved a step ahead in our ability to grasp and digest the unimaginary. 

(Check back daily during the festival — new answers are uploaded on the day of each film’s premiere. Read all the responses here.)

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