The Tree of Wooden Clogs
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Top Customer Reviews
Thomas Schaer, Veterinarian & Organic Farmer
Although it is a drama, the film has a strong documentary or ethnographic flavor, portraying the lives of the families, the seasons, the farm animals, country and town, courtship and marriage, and above all faith. The four families live in the same compound, and the plot revolves around events within the compound and the village -- enrolling a boy at school, the sickness of a family's cow, boy meets girl, an adoption, planting tomatoes, the illegal felling of a tree, the difficult circumstances of a widow, and an eviction.
Director Ermanno Olmi drew the members of the cast from Lombardy farm families. The effect of the localized events and the non-professional cast is to pull the viewer into the world of these families in a way few films do. The length of the film and its "slow" pace have a parallel effect -- to draw the viewer out of the fast pace of our modern life back into a time when lives moved to different and slower rhythms.
Many will wince, as I did, at the scene when a large hog is slaughtered. The pork that comes to us in wrapped supermarket packages distances us from the reality of farms and animals, and the film makes us confront it. (All of our great-grandparents knew the reality, and they might be surprised by how the scene discomforts their own descendants.) The scene shows Olmi's evenhandedness. Nostalgia for the past is balanced with a clear look at its hardships and cruelties.
The film's large theme is to show how the lives of these ordinary people were inseparable from their Catholic faith, evident in their prayers, conversations, and responses to their homely crises.Read more ›
Be forewarned ye vegetarians and lovers of animals. There is a very ( emphasis on VERY) descriptive slaughter of a pig and a duck...... (put me off bacon for a couple of days!).Not something one should let children see....!
However the review of two stars is not for the film itself but for the banal subtitles.....too few and far between that a chunk of the conversation is lost.Eventhough the producers might have chosen to omit certain segments of the dialogue, I genuinely feel that the charchter of the film is inevitably, to a certain degree, lost as well.
Secondly the DVD is PAL format. So unless you have a multi-system player, one can only use one's computer to watch this film. Why is a PAL system film being sold in North America? Search me...... and why is it region 0 (all regions)?
Two thumbs up for the fim....two thumbs down for this DVD release.........
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Portrays a time in Italy when serfs were at the mercy of the landowners. A boy earns the right to go to school, and breaks one of his wooden clogs on the long walk. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
WARNING: This Arrow Films disc is in PAL format and WILL NOT play on a U.S. DVD player. Don't pay any attention to what the specs say about "Zone 0" or "All... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Stage Door
I ordered this movie, along with many other Winners at Cannes. The description says it is formatted PAL for all regions, i.e., it will play in all DVD players. Not true! Read morePublished 18 months ago by T. Simonson
This story gave me a realistic view of the kind of life my grandparents lived and all the hardships they encountered. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Paula Trevisan
For me a masterpiece is a film to which I like to return once in a while ("Fanny and Alexander", "Persona", "Stalker", "Paris, Texas", "Death in... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Yoselovich Boris
This is a wonderful movie; it depicts life in Northern Italy under difficult circumstances, back when people's lives were controlled by a lot of things. Read morePublished on December 31, 2013 by NightHeron
This is why so many Italians came to this country about 100 years ago. Now that most are mainstream, we should reflect on why others want so badly to come and live in this country.Published on June 5, 2013 by Lucille A.