Georgian Film Academy withdraws film about Ivanishvili's tree collecting hobby
A documentary about Ivanishvili’s trees‘ passion
The Georgian Film Academy has canceled screenings of the Taming the Garden documentary by filmmaker Salome Jashi, which tells the story of the country’s informal ruler and former prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s passion for replanting centuries-old trees in his arboretum.
According to the director, the president of the Film Academy, Mindia Esadze, called the film “a work that causes controversy and divides society for political reasons” and canceled the screening at the Cinema House in Tbilisi for this very reason.
The director said in her post on Facebook that there would be a single screening at the Cinema House.
“The film does not mention the Georgian politics, which in fact has been the reason for criticism toward the film. And even if it would show more of Georgian politics, why is this a problem for the officially independent Film Academy?”, writes Salome Jashi.
It should be noted that in addition to the nomination for the European Film Academy Award, Taming the Garden was nominated for the prize of the Sundance International Film Festival and also participated in the Forum, one of the sections of the Cannes Film Festival.
Salome Jashi directed the films The Leader is Always Right, Their Helicopter, Bakhmaro and Swimming.
This is not the first time that artists in Georgia have complained about censorship and political interference.
The protest against the Minister of Culture of Georgia became permanent after the appointment of the former Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani.
In January, a protest rally was held in front of the Ministry of Culture under the slogan “Glory to the party for exposing the enemies of culture”.
The protest was fueled by several recent scandals associated with the ministry, including the decision to dismantle an old building of the Art Museum and lay off dissenting employees, as well as a scandal over a book published by the Literary Museum.
In the decisions of Minister of Culture Tea Tsulukiani, a part of society sees political repressions, as well as attempts at censorship and persecution of dissidents.