Tuesday, April 04, 2017

the olive tree…

I went to the Watershed yesterday afternoon to see Iciar Bollain’s film “The Olive Tree” (with screenplay by Paul Laverty – who’s penned many of Ken Loach’s films).
It’s a gentle, charming film about an old Spanish man (played by Manuel Cucala) who has retreated into depression and dementia after his family had, against his will, uprooted and sold off his beloved 2,000 year-old olive tree to pay for a failed, now bankrupt, family restaurant business.
His granddaughter, Alma (played by Anna Castillo), cannot bear the thought of her grandfather dying without this terrible wrong corrected… and comes up with a somewhat farcical, harebrained plan to locate the tree and return it to the family orchard.
She discovers that the buyer of the tree is a Dusseldorf energy company – which has an image of the tree as its logo as a symbol of its very questionable ‘green credentials’… and, thanks to social media, the plan energises German environmental campaigners.

The film is perhaps a sad reflection of the values (or lack of them) of big business set against environmental concerns, rich against poor… achieving wealth now and ignoring implications for the future.
Not the best film I’ll see in 2017, but rather lovely nevertheless.


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