Ermanno Olmi

The Tree of Wooden Clogs

The Tree of Wooden Clogs

A painterly and sensual immersion in late nineteenth-century Italian farm life, Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs lovingly focuses on four families working for one landowner on an isolated estate in the province of Bergamo. Filming on an abandoned farm for four months, Olmi adapted neorealist techniques to tell his story, enlisting local people to live as their own ancestors had, speaking in their native dialect on locations with which they were intimately familiar. Through the cycle of seasons, of backbreaking labor, love and marriage, birth and death, faith and superstition, Olmi naturalistically evokes an existence very close to nature, celebrating its beauty, humor, and simplicity but also acknowledging the feudal cruelty that governs it. Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1978, The Tree of Wooden Clogs is intimate in scale but epic in scope—a towering, heart-stirring work of humanist filmmaking.

Film Info

  • Ermanno Olmi
  • Italy
  • 1978
  • 186 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.37:1
  • Bergamasque
  • Spine #854

Special Features

  • New 4K restoration, created in collaboration with The Film Foundation at L’Immagine Ritrovata and supervised by director Ermanno Olmi, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate Italian-language soundtrack
  • New introduction by filmmaker Mike Leigh
  • Ermanno Olmi: The Roots of the Tree, an hour-long 1981 episode of The South Bank Show, featuring an interview with Olmi on the film and a visit to the farm where it was shot
  • New program featuring cast and crew discussing the film at the Cinema Ritrovato film festival in Bologna, Italy, in 2016
  • Interviews with Olmi from 1978 and 2008
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Deborah Young

New cover by F. Ron Miller

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 4K restoration, created in collaboration with The Film Foundation at L’Immagine Ritrovata and supervised by director Ermanno Olmi, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate Italian-language soundtrack
  • New introduction by filmmaker Mike Leigh
  • Ermanno Olmi: The Roots of the Tree, an hour-long 1981 episode of The South Bank Show, featuring an interview with Olmi on the film and a visit to the farm where it was shot
  • New program featuring cast and crew discussing the film at the Cinema Ritrovato film festival in Bologna, Italy, in 2016
  • Interviews with Olmi from 1978 and 2008
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Deborah Young

New cover by F. Ron Miller

The Tree of Wooden Clogs
Cast
Luigi Ornaghi
Batistì
Francesca Moriggi
Batistina, his wife
Omar Brignoli
Minek, the student
Antonio Ferrari
Tuni
Teresa Brescianini
The widow Runk
Giuseppe Brignoli
Anselmo, the grandfather
Carlo Rota
Peppino
Pasqualina Brolis
Teresina
Massimo Fratus
Pierino
Francesca Villa
Annetta
Maria Grazia Caroli
Bettina
Battista Trevaini
Finard
Giuseppina Langalelli
Finard’s wife
Lorenzo Pedroni
Grandpa Finard
Felice Cervi
Ustì
Pierangelo Bertoli
Secondo
Brunella Migliaccio
Olga
Giacomo Cavalleri
Brena
Lorenza Frigeni
Brena’s wife
Lucia Pezzoli
Maddalena, the bride
Franco Pilenga
Stefano, the groom
Guglielmo Badoni
Stefano’s father
Laura Locatelli
Stefano’s mother
Carmelo Silva
Don Carlo
Mario Brignoli
The landlord
Emilio Pedroni
The foreman
Vittorio Capelli
Frikì
Francesca Bassurini
Sister Maria
Lina Ricci
Woman of the Sign
Credits
Director
Ermanno Olmi
Written, photographed, and edited by
Ermanno Olmi
Director of production
Attilio Torricelli
Set design
Enrico Tovaglieri
Costumes
Francesca Zucchelli
Sound
Amadeo Casati

From The Current

Ermanno Olmi on the Whisper of the Generations
Ermanno Olmi on the Whisper of the Generations

In his Palme d’Or–winning masterpiece The Tree of Wooden Clogs, Ermanno Olmi depicts both the hardship and the beauty of late nineteenth-century agrarian life in the Italian province of Bergamo, telling the story of four families that live and wo…

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The Tree of Wooden Clogs: The Sacredness of Life as Understatement
The Tree of Wooden Clogs: The Sacredness of Life as Understatement

Ermanno Olmi captures the dignity of work in this painterly vision of late nineteenth-century rural Italy.

By Deborah Young

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Ermanno Olmi’s Masterpiece Returns to the Big Screen
Ermanno Olmi’s Masterpiece Returns to the Big Screen

One of the most ambitious achievements of Italian master Ermanno Olmi’s career, The Tree of Wooden Clogs opens at New York’s Film Forum today in a ravishing new 4K restoration, supervised by the director himself. Made in close collaboration with …

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