3 user 1 critic

The Birch Tree (1967)

Breza (original title)
Beautiful but ailing girl is married to a harsh man who doesn't care for her. Only after she dies does he realize that he actually loves her.


Ante Babaja


Ante Babaja, Slavko Kolar (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Manca Kosir Manca Kosir ... Janica
Velimir 'Bata' Zivojinovic ... Marko Labudan (as Bata Zivojinovic)
Fabijan Sovagovic Fabijan Sovagovic ... Joza 'Sveti'
Nela Erzisnik Nela Erzisnik ... Markova mater
Martin Sagner Martin Sagner ... Markov pajdas / Grobar
Angel Palasev Angel Palasev ... Zugecic mladji, mladozenja
Stane Sever Stane Sever ... Nadsumar
Drago Bahun Drago Bahun ... Markov pajdas / Grobar
Hermina Pipinic Hermina Pipinic ... Jaga
Rikard Brzeska ... Janko Godinic
Kruno Valentic Kruno Valentic ... Zandar
Stevo Vujatovic Stevo Vujatovic ... Valent, krcmar
Stjepan Knezevic Stjepan Knezevic
Viktor Bek Viktor Bek ... Starac u krcmi
Kresimir Zidaric Kresimir Zidaric ... Zandar (as Kreso Zidaric)


Beautiful but ailing girl is married to a harsh man who doesn't care for her. Only after she dies does he realize that he actually loves her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance







Release Date:

27 June 1967 (Yugoslavia) See more »

Also Known As:

El abedul See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jadran Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was voted the sixth best Croatian film in 1999 by the Croatian film critics. See more »


Featured in How I Fell in Love with Eva Ras (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Imaginative and morbid symbolism of Croatian folklore
24 May 2014 | by BalkanibalSee all my reviews

This is a dark movie and it takes you to a place of unease. But it's worth it!

A satire of the traditional peasant mentality set in north Croatia in 1920-ties. The author of the story, Croatian master of satire SLAVKO KOLAR, originally wrote it as tragicomedy, but the film doesn't show much of comedy. Only tragedy remains. Creepy and a bit surreal landscape in the background only enhances dark feelings. Contrast between tragic protagonists and hypocritical traditional customs of the villagers is truthfully conveyed. The way the director showed social relations, rituals, ancient folklore (even witchcraft) that makes the fiber of Croatian peasant society, made a lasting impression on me.

If you know someone who want's to learn something about Slavic cultural heritage, be free to recommend them this small masterpiece. I recommend it especially to those viewers of similar cultural background, Poles, Slovenes, Slovaks, Czechs, West Ukrainians... all those Slavs whose countries used to be a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. Of course, others are welcome too.

There are simply too many motives and interesting characters to analyze here in detail.

Croatian cinematography at it's best!

10/10 and a big respect to the director, Ante Babaja!!!

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