The Tree of Wooden Clogs


Time Out says

Olmi's uncompromising reconstruction of peasant life in turn-of-the-century Lombardy marks a return to his origins in neo-realism and non-professional casts. Choreographed as an ensemble work that admits no star performers, his film takes its unhurried pace from the lives of the dirt farmers it observes - lives of repetitive drudgery punctuated by cautious moments of felicity. Its gently muted colour camerawork succeeds in covering the exquisite landscape with a thin patina of mud, while for two of its three hours the changing of the seasons is the closest the film comes to a dramatic event. By showing peasant exploitation as neither triumphant Calvary nor action-packed drama, Olmi refutes both 1900 and Padre Padrone, and creates a near-perfect hermetic universe, punctured only in those rare moments when, as tautologous as the film's English title, he dots the 'i's on the amply demonstrated Marxist message. Still, a near faultless and major film.

By: JD


Release details

186 mins

Cast and crew

Ermanno Olmi
Ermanno Olmi
Luigi Ornaghi
Francesca Moriggi
Omar Brignoli
Antonio Ferrari Teresa Brescianini
Giuseppe Brignoli
Carlo Rota
Pasqualina Brolis
Massimo Fratus
Francesca Villa
You may also like