The Tree Of Wooden Clogs

  • 1978
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Approaching verite in style, and heavily influenced by American documentarist Robert Flaherty's ethnological classics, this naturalistic portrayal of Italian peasants neither glorifies their lives nor looks down on them. Olmi, who directed, scripted, photographed, and edited the film, concentrates on three peasant families (all finely acted by nonprofessionals)...read more

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Approaching verite in style, and heavily influenced by American documentarist Robert Flaherty's ethnological classics, this naturalistic portrayal of Italian peasants neither glorifies their lives nor looks down on them. Olmi, who directed, scripted, photographed, and edited the film,

concentrates on three peasant families (all finely acted by nonprofessionals) and their daily existence for the period of about one year. They live on an estate governed by a practically nonexistent landlord and work his land with the greatest of care and devotion. Interestingly, however, the

least important facet of THE TREE OF WOODEN CLOGS is its plot. Instead, the focus is on the bond between people, as well as their relationship to the land. Olmi resists the urge to overly moralize the lives of these people as he considers what is beautiful as well as what is stagnant about their

lives. At times he seems to suggest that here may reside a model for human existence, but he is generally content to present the film as an extended vignette. (It is interesting, though, how Olmi largely fails to consider the class relations structuring certain aspects of these people's lives.) A

memorable picture which takes a sensitive, poetic look at a remarkable group of human beings without getting too romanticized about it, THE TREE OF WOODEN CLOGS was winner of the Golden Palm at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival, making it the second Italian film in a row to take top honors (the 1977

winner was the Taviani Brother's PADRE PADRONE).

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  • Released: 1978
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Approaching verite in style, and heavily influenced by American documentarist Robert Flaherty's ethnological classics, this naturalistic portrayal of Italian peasants neither glorifies their lives nor looks down on them. Olmi, who directed, scripted, photo… (more)

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