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L'Albero degli zoccoli is a 1978 Italian film written and directed by Ermanno Olmi. It was released as The Tree of Wooden Clogs in the USAmarker and as The Tree with the Wooden Clogs in the UKmarker. The film concerns Italian peasant life in the late 19th century. It has some similarities with the earlier Italian neorealist movement, in that it focuses on the lives of the poor, and the parts were played by real farmers and locals, rather than professional actors. It won fourteen awards including the Palme d'or at Cannes and the César Award for Best Foreign Film. The original version of the movie is spoken in Bergamasque, an Eastern Lombard dialect.

It includes footage of several real animal killings, including a pig being gutted while still partially alive.


Critical acclaim

British film-maker Mike Leigh praised the film in The Daily Telegraph's 'Film makers on film' interview series, on 19 October, 2002. Leigh pays tribute to the film’s humanity, realism, and vast scale. He called the film “extraordinary on a number of levels”, before concluding “this guy's [Olmi] a genius, and that's all there is to it”. When Al Pacino was asked by the AFI what is favourite movie was, he admitted that he "always liked The Tree Of Wooden Clogs."


  1. Film makers on film: Mike Leigh - Telegraph

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