The Olive Tree (El Olivo)

Close Up Shared Planet Youth Programme
Director: Iciar Bollain | Countries of production: Germany, Spain | Year: 2016 | Length: 100 min
Language: Spanish with English subtitles | Age: 15+ years

Screened as part of TOAFF16

Alma works on her family’s farm. Like many young Spaniards’, her future is being shaped by the country’s devastating economic crisis – as is her relationship to the past.

To make ends meet, her father has been selling some of their most ancient olive trees to foreign buyers. For Alma’s grandfather, whose olive groves have been his life’s work, his pride and a vital connection to family tradition, the loss of one particular, two-thousand-year-old tree, proved too much. He has not uttered a word since and refuses to eat.

Convinced that her grandfather’s recovery depends on the tree’s return, Alma sets off on a quixotic road trip across Europe to re-claim it from its new corporate owners. Her quest peppers this tender film with plenty of humour. It also embodies a hope shared by many: to say “basta” and make up for the damage inflicted on the country’s landscape and its communities.

“Rooted in the best cinematic soil there is — emotional truth” The Hollywood Reporter

“An earthy, quietly stirring Spanish fable that finds familial, regional and environmental grievances inseparably tangled in its branches” Variety

Edinburgh International Film Festival, Official selection
Miami International Film Festival, Official selection

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