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The Olive Tree (2016) Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD)
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Icíar Bollaín's inspirational and poignant story of a vibrant, determined young woman on a journey
From Goya Award Winner and internationally acclaimed director Icíar Bollaín (Even the Rain, Take My Eyes), The Olive Tree follows a wilful and spirited young woman named Alma who embarks on a journey from the East coast of Spain to Germany in order to retrieve an ancient olive tree precious to her ailing grandfather. With the help of a variety of friends & new acquaintances, she pulls everyone she encounters into her plan with unexpected consequences for all involved.
The powerful feature film which stars Anna Castillo, Javier Gutiérrez and Pep Ambròs was written by Paul Laverty, winner of the Best Screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival for Sweet Sixteen. Laverty is also well-known for penning Ken Loach's Palme d Or winner The Wind that Shakes the Barley, the Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize Winner The Angels Share and the BAFTA Award-winning I, Daniel Blake.
Dual Format EDITION featuring:
- 24-PAGE Booklet featuring new writing about the film by Jason Wood as well as directors notes on the films genesis and production
- Optional English Subtitles
"An earthy, quietly stirring Spanish fable... universally appealing, grafting gentle comedy" - Guy Lodge, Variety
A feel-good combination of angry and tender... rooted in the best cinematic soil there is -- emotional truth" - Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter
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We get to a point where Alma realises he will die if he is not reunited with the tree and so sets out on a mission to find it and bring it home. Only problem is she hasn’t got a clue or any money and no way of achieving her aims but she decides not to let the glaringly obvious stop her.
Now this is a lovingly written story by the brilliant Paul Laverty (‘I Daniel Blake’ etc) and is acted by players who all inhabit their perspective roles with a simple believability. It can be funny and it can be painful but at its heart it is just a very touching and human story and shows how a thing can be as important to a person and another person – we can not help what we love in life. It is in Spanish with a bit of German and some English – well translated in the sub titles. If you like Ken Loach film you will want to see this - completely recommended.
Alma discovers that the tree was sold on to an energy company and is currently the centrepiece of the reception at their headquarters in Dusseldorf. She then concocts a barely plausible tale to convince her uncle and a friend to drive to Germany and recover the tree. In the trip that follows it becomes clear that the tree is central to a lot of issues within the family over money and relationships. This in turn brings in wider issues showing how the family is also facing the consequences of commercial and political corruption which have exacerbated the economic downturn.
Despite the seriousness of the themes, the film uses a lot of humour and naturalistic performances from the cast, to bring the bigger issues down to a human scale. It is not didactic, acknowledging the comfort and convenience of technology which Alma and her friends use to their advantage. It is well paced with great photography. It avoids idealising rural Mediterranean life by showing a working farm as it is - knee deep in chicken droppings and debt.
A warm, funny film about coming to terms with life while trying to hold onto your values.
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