The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)

Dir. Ermanno Olmi
186 min

Not something I would go out of my way to recommend although those who like foreign films would appreciate this on some level.

Essentially this is a slice of life film, slice of late 19th Century peasant life to be exact, which feels almost like a documentary. The film focuses on four peasant families, with creating a vignette for each one. The photography is solid. If you like paintings of rural European villages and peasants, this would probably appeal to you.

My favorite moment in the film revolves around a widow who is desperately prays to God to save the family cow. The veterinarian advises her to quickly kill the cow before its imminent death. Instead, she goes to church and prays; she fills a bottle of war from the stream and asks the Lord to bless it to save the cow. It’s a heartfelt and genuine moment. The Catholic priest in the film is also portrayed favorably.

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