Alma is a young girl with emotional problems and a special relationship with her grandfather Ramón, an old country man who stopped talking about 12 years ago after his son, Alma's father, sold a 2000-years-old olive tree in order to open a restaurant. Dominated by the sadness and the melancholia by the loss of his most beloved tree, Ramon spends his days visiting the place where the olive tree was planted, hoping the day the tree returns. Unable to bear the situation any longer, Alma looking for the olive tree, discovering that it was acquired by a Germany's energy company located in Dusseldorf. Without money or resources, Alma convinces her uncle Alcachofa and her friend Rafa (who has a love interest for her) to go in a truck from Spain to Germany to recover the tree, starting a travel with unexpected consequences for everyone...Written by
Paul Laverty got the idea for the movie after reading a newspaper article about the selling of Spanish ancient trees to Europe or Asia for decorative reasons. He mulled over it for a decade before actually writing it. See more »
At minute 62, when the lorry is driving in continental Europe (and about to enter Germany), footage of a motorway is briefly shown, with traffic driving on the left hand side. See more »
Simple but well accessorized
The film opens with a telephone prank, reminding me as an American that it's to the Spanish we largely owe the art of pulling someone's leg and of amusing exaggeration. But the prank introduces an important theme, also Spanish, of who's getting the upper hand at whose expense. And the additional theme of how hard it is to retain a traditional sense of honor under 21st-century economic pressures. The plot is of the very simplest-- save the ancient olive tree!-- but the characters have side concerns of their own which, while not indispensable to plot, serve to humanize the movie and inspire empathy. The man beside me in the theater remarked two or three times, "Excellent acting." Nice music, too, and flashes of humor. My wife, who knows a little Spanish, let me know how colorless the English subtitles (here in Israel, anyway) were in comparison.
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