The Olive Tree
Directed by Iciar Bollain
CLOSING NIGHT UNDER THE STARS
Goya Award Winner and internationally acclaimed director and actress Icíar Bollaín’s “The Olive Tree” is set in Castellón, Valencia on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. Alma’s family has been producing olive oil from their ancestral grove for centuries, and she learned grafting from Ramon, her beloved grandfather when just a child. But hard times hit Spain and her father, his brothers and their wives have given up making oil. They convince Ramon to sell off the most treasured family possession: a two thousand year old grand, gnarled olive tree to an energy company in Dusseldorf as their symbol of ‘being green.’ The aging Ramon (played by real olive farmer Manuel Cucala) falls into a deep depression. Alma is convinced that the only way to bring her grandfather back from his catatonic state is to retrieve the tree. Alma (meaning ‘soul’ in Spanish) embarks on a journey from the East coast of Spain to Germany in order to kidnap the ancient olive tree, among the oldest living beings on earth, so precious to her ailing grandfather. She pulls friends and acquaintances into her plan with unexpected consequences for all involved.
The Olive Tree is a deceptively simple drama about a family and its two-thousand-year-old olive tree that is rooted in the best cinematic soil there is — emotional truth — The Olive Tree reminds us of the value of roots, heritage and our connection to the land. It gets its hooks in early on, and then never lets up. The Olive Tree is written by Paul Laferty, Ken Loach’s long time collaborator and the writer of Bollain’s Oscar contender, “Even The Rain” (a WCFF special event in 2011). It is a perfect example of “The Terroir of Cinema” film.
This “Films al Fresco™” Closing Night film must be seen under the stars on the big screen.
Alma: Anna Castillo
Alcachofa: Javier Gutierrez
Producers: Juan Gordon, Michael Weber
Screenplay: Paul Laverty
Cinematography: Sergi Gallardo
Music: Pascal Gaigne