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584 Ratings

The Tree of Wooden Clogs

L'albero degli zoccoli

Directed by Ermanno Olmi
Italy, 1978


A painterly and sensual immersion in late nineteenth-century Italian farm life, Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs lovingly focuses on four families working for one landowner on an isolated estate in the province of Bergamo—a towering, heart-stirring work of humanist filmmaking.

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The Tree of Wooden Clogs Directed by Ermanno Olmi
Olmi shows us how cinema can capture history, and he succeeds in conveying the important moments of history by making them come alive through his incredible method of working, which is most apparent in The Tree of Wooden Clogs. He looks at history with a love, care, and respect that are truly admirable.
December 03, 2018
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Using a cast of non- professional actors – credited collectively as “the people of the Bergamo countryside” – Olmi taps into the details of a specific cultural experience. Age-old traditions, superstitions, celebration songs, and rites of passage all come to define the film’s sense of time and place.
July 07, 2017
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The images, feeling both painterly and improvised at times, aren’t the product of a calculated thesis or historical account. Yet they’re also not humanist anymore than they’re nihilistic because Olmi’s interest in these people and their milieu embraces both of those inclinations in equal measure. The film suggests pain and pleasure are fundamental components of the human condition and refuses to attribute the source of either to a strictly causal chain of logic or events.
February 15, 2017
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