VENUE: THE DUGDALE CENTRE
DOOR TIME: 19.00
START TIME: 19.45
COST: £6.50 inc booking
THE OLIVE TREE
THURS 1 FEB
Alma, 20, works in a chicken farm by the village of Canet, in the province of Castellon, on the East coast of Spain. She has a profound connection with her dearly beloved Grandfather despite the fact he has stopped talking years ago.
But when he begins to refuse food too Alma becomes obsessed with an idea: the only way to save her Grandfather is to recover the two-thousand-year olive tree that the family uprooted and sold 12 years ago against his will.
Lying through her teeth, without a plan and even less money, Alma engages her wayward Uncle “Artichoke”, 45, ruined by the crisis, her colleague Rafa, 30, her friends Wiki (“Wikipedia”) and Adele and a big part of the small community of Canet in an outrageous endeavour; to find and return the olive tree, lost somewhere in Europe, to its rightful spot in the family grove where it has been tended, and in turn, given life, for over 2 millennia.
Standing up for what you believe, and believing in compassion and community, are the hallmarks of any script by Ken Loach’s collaborator Paul Laverty, who wrote last year’s ‘I, Daniel Blake’. This warm, gently rousing Spanish film is directed by Icíar Bollaín (‘Even the Rain’) and written by Laverty (Bollaín’s partner).
It tells of a young Spanish woman, Alma (Anna Castillo, a compelling lead), who determines to rescue and return to rural Spain her disturbed family’s beloved, highly symbolic olive tree – which now sits in the Düsseldorf lobby of a multinational company, whose logo it has inspired. Commentary on a changing Europe – and especially a socially and economically forlorn Spain – underpins ‘The Olive Tree’, but the human relationships are most poignant here, especially the one between Alma and her ailing grandfather.