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The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)

L'albero degli zoccoli (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History | 1 June 1979 (USA)
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The life inside a farm in Italy at the end of the 19th century. Many poor country families live there, and the owner pays them by their productivity. One of the families has a very clever ... See full summary »

Director:

Ermanno Olmi

Writer:

Ermanno Olmi
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18 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Luigi Ornaghi Luigi Ornaghi ... Batistì
Francesca Moriggi Francesca Moriggi ... Batistina
Omar Brignoli Omar Brignoli ... Minec
Antonio Ferrari Antonio Ferrari ... Tuni
Teresa Brescianini Teresa Brescianini ... Widow Runk
Giuseppe Brignoli Giuseppe Brignoli ... Anselmo
Carlo Rota Carlo Rota ... Peppino
Pasqualina Brolis Pasqualina Brolis ... Teresina
Massimo Fratus Massimo Fratus ... Pierino
Francesca Villa Francesca Villa ... Annetta
Maria Grazia Caroli Maria Grazia Caroli ... Bettina
Battista Trevaini Battista Trevaini ... Il Finard
Giuseppina Langalelli Giuseppina Langalelli ... La Moglie Finarda
Lorenzo Pedroni Lorenzo Pedroni ... Il nonno Finard
Felice Cervi Felice Cervi ... Uslì
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Storyline

The life inside a farm in Italy at the end of the 19th century. Many poor country families live there, and the owner pays them by their productivity. One of the families has a very clever child. They decide to send him to school instead of make him help them, although this represents a great sacrifice. The boy has to wake up very early and walk several miles to get to the school. One day the boy's shoes break when returning home, but they do not have money to buy another pair. What can they do? Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Once in a generation, a work of art appears as if by magic, to move and inspire its audience. A work that returns to a exhausted humanity the possibility of simple grandeur. We invite you to visit a time and place when life was still a sacred matter. When the family of man was still - a family.

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

1 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tree of Wooden Clogs See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Gevacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First and only movie to be entirely spoken in Bergamasque dialect. See more »

Goofs

When the children are making music with pots and pans, the 'instruments' of the little girl are switching from one hand to the other when the camera looks at her from the other side. See more »

Quotes

Batistì: A peasant's son going to school. What will people say?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Quite strangely, the names of the actors are listed as "last name first name", while the names of the rest of the crew are correctly listed as "first name last name". See more »

Alternate Versions

There are two versions of this movie: one which is spoken in the dialect of Bergamo, Italy, and one in which the actors dubbed themselves in Italian. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Splendor (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott, BWV 721
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Fernando Germani
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Long but full of interesting cultural information
30 October 2016 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

I had seen Wooden Clogs about twenty years ago but could remember very little about the film other than it was about very poor Italian peasant farmers at the turn of the century and that 'wooden clogs' somehow figured into the film's plot.

It is one of those films that is seemingly about nothing, but could be about everything. i didn't find its 3 hour length to be a problem. It is almost like watching a documentary about peasant life right down to its hand held camera techniques. It is subtle though. Not the shaky-cam or vomit-cam stuff you see today.

The cast is entirely made up of non-actors. Real peasants. And apparently it was shot using its local dialect, Bergamasque which then had to be dubbed into Italian for the Italian market. Olmi explains in the DVD extras that all of the non-actors did their own dubbing which I have to say is quite a technical accomplishment for amateurs.

The film opens with a farmer chopping the head off of a goose. A little later on the controversial scene depicting the slaughter and butchering of a hog is played out in almost real time. It is very graphic and quite disturbing. But just when I thought you would never want your kids to see this, Olmi cuts to two three year-old peasant kids watching the hog die with unbothered fascination. This is real life on a real farm.

And you can tell that it is done by a proficient butcher and is not a gratuitous add-on for exploitation. It is just something that Olmi has selected to include in the film.

I'd suggest this one for a change of pace.


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