Trees Floating (AT)

A film by Salomé Jashi


A rich man, who is also the former prime minister of Georgia and still a shadow ruler of the country Bidzina Ivanishvili, has developed an exquisite hobby. He collects century old magnificent trees along Georgia’s coastline. He commissions his men to uproot them and bring them to his private garden. The route to the garden lies through villages, forests and the Black Sea.

Some of these trees are as tall as 10-floor-buildings. And in order to transplant a tree of such dimensions some other trees are chopped down, electric cables are shifted, railway stops working, and new roads are paved though mandarine plantations.

Trees are the axis of the film – the main character. The plot develops around the process of their forced migration. Other minor characters are mostly men. First, it’s the billionaire who you never see but he’s always talked about. He’s an ephemeral god-like figure. Then there are careless workers who slog in mud to execute the caprice of the rich man. Heavy machinery is their tool. And then there are those men and sometimes women who own the trees. Now they have discovered treasure in their yards which can be converted into much desired cash. They measure their trees and contemplate on how much money they can get in return.

However, giving away a family tree stirs unexpected passions and emotions. Ambivalent feelings of grief and greed, beauty and devastation, astonishment and conspiracy overlap each other.

Patient scenes unveil subtle details of the story which is never directly told. It is evoked through tableaus of distant images of shifted landscapes and perplexed people.

This is a surrealist film showing the new world order where the reality has flipped, where nothing is stable and predictable, where trees move. Through this story the film reflects upon a global political hierarchy where money and power prevail. It speaks about the roots - meaning not where we come from, but where we stand.

Technical Details

Duration90 min
Original LanguageGeorgian
SubtitlesEnglish, German
CountrySwitzerland, Germany, Georgia