8 user 45 critic

El olivo (2016)

2:16 | Trailer
A girl, her uncle and a friend start an emotional travel to recover a family tree.


Icíar Bollaín (as Iciar Bollain)


Paul Laverty (screenplay)
3 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Castillo ... Alma
Javier Gutiérrez ... Alcachofa
Pep Ambròs ... Rafa
Manuel Cucala Manuel Cucala ... Ramón
Miguel Angel Aladren Miguel Angel Aladren ... Luis (as Miguel Ángel Aladren)
Carme Pla Carme Pla ... Vanessa
Ana Isabel Mena Ana Isabel Mena ... Sole
María Romero María Romero ... Wiki
Paula Usero Paula Usero ... Adelle
Janina Agnes Schröder Janina Agnes Schröder ... Sophie
Cris Blanco Cris Blanco ... Estrella
Paco Manzanedo Paco Manzanedo ... Nelson
Inés Ruiz Inés Ruiz ... Alma 8 años
Aina Requena Aina Requena ... Madre de Alma
Pia Stutzenstein Pia Stutzenstein ... Kristin


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 Chockys

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


See all certifications »



Spain | Germany


Spanish | German | English | French

Release Date:

6 May 2016 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

A Oliveira do Meu Avô See more »

Filming Locations:

Spain See more »


Box Office


€4,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€375,432 (Spain), 6 May 2016, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The surname of the lead family is Cucala, probably after Manuel Cucala, the actor who plays the grandfather. See more »

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User Reviews

Trees, the pen the earth's holding to write its fate.
13 October 2017 | by Reno RanganSee all my reviews

Check about this film on the internet, it is definitely an under- noticed film. But decently rated, which deserve even better than that. Once you watched it, you would be surprised to know how such a beautiful tale went unnoticed. If I had a chance, I would have selected it for the Oscars to represent Spain, instead of 'Julieta'. Written by an Irish writer in English, but made into a Spanish film. A simple storyline, though an inspiring film. This is why one should watch non-Hollywood films as well very often.

First of all, it was not the first film to deal on such thematic. But nicely created an atmosphere where the characters flourished under. Particularly the character Alma, the backbone of the narration. Proves why the actress who played the role deserved the Goya Award. The remaining cast too was good. It was not a pure drama, though a bit of adventure, fun and a tiny bit of suspense like what might happen next make you get glued to it.

The story of the granddaughter-grandfather relationship through their family tree that's two millennia old. But the rest of the family members are not happy as they are financially struggling to work on the farm. To them the tree is the answer which could replace a restaurant they are planning for. Now the grownup granddaughter, unable to console her grandpa who has been heartbroken for years, is set to retrieve the tree at any cost. She teams up with her uncle and a friend, and their cross-border adventure begins.

It was not exactly a pre-planned road trip. But somewhat everything comes along for them. You would expect so many things to happen, but the writer has a different opinion. Especially with that Statue of Liberty, I really expected what most of the viewers would do in a situation. Even the conclusion was not something twisty as it should have been. Only if it was a regular film, but it was not. Still, I liked it being realistic than having a cinematic or a fairy-tale ending. Though most of the people think the message was not right.

❝Sometimes you just have to dive in. Head first.❞

I have heard a small beautiful story somewhere. I think in Quora. It was about Giant Sequoia, centuries ago when the forest was destroyed due to wildfire, someone asked that how long does it take to grow a new tree this big! The answer was thousands of years. So his reply was: then we should not waste a minute, let's start seeding. This film clearly depicts with quite similar moral. A kind of mindset we all need the most right now.

I loved the concept about saving a tree. Because that's similar to my believe. Once I had a FB profile picture with a quote, saying 'save plants, eat meat'. I have a soft corner to plants than animals (but still I love animals equally). At least animals could have a chance, but plants does not. They can't move, they're fixed. Hence, I eat only fruits and vegetables (which are plant's excreta as they love animals in exchange as that's how the cycle works in the nature), not leaves and branches like cows and sheep. This is one of the reasons why I loved this film very much.

The film did not focus on the farmer's struggle. Or the corporate's evil deeds. While the lifestyle in the world becoming so rich and modern, the farmers still remaining the same. On the other hand, the corporations becoming very fancy every day. So that's where this story comes in. Because money buys anything in the world. Striking emotions at the right time, the tale took a small twist, but course changing for the narration. Reminds us that the film has reached its other end

If you are not interested in all those things, but just an entertainment, then fine it has that too. The film was made with criteria to meet the expectation from all the quarters. The farmers, corporate, tourism, corrupt politician, all these were the platform. Most of them were not deep enough that you could notice. Everything's understandable. But wherever it goes, comes back to the tree. The tree remains the centre throughout the narration.

This is not like those films to say worth a watch. It should be watched in my opinion. Because what we teach our kids and what we do in reality, all has consequences. In this era where global warming is a thing, trees are precious, even one. Because everything starts from one. So just don't expect like a fight to save Amazonia.


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