Family Tree

Family Tree  {L’Arbre et la foret}
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Family Tree
L’Arbre et la foret
France, 2009, 105 Minute Running Time
Topics: Drama, Gay/Lesbian, Seniors
Program: World Cinema Now
Language: French English Sub-Titles

Trapped in the past, concentration camp survivor Frédérick Muller (stalwart veteran Guy Marchand), the patriarch of a bourgeois Alsiatian family, spends his days listening to Wagner, staring out of the window at the trees he planted to commemorate his suffering under the German occupation during World War II and pretty much keeping himself to himself. When he is conspicuously absent from the funeral of his elder son, Charles, his eventual explanation reveals a long-held, painful secret that throws the family into torment and threatens to tear it asunder.

In this exquisite rumination on the inevitable damage to the familial structure caused by decades of living a lie and whether it is possible to throw off the shadow of a troubled past, regular collaborators Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau unfailingly avoid the temptation to stray into soap opera territory. Rather, they have constructed a dignified, symphonic work in the manner of Wagner himself, aided by a top-notch cast, excellent production design and, of course, glorious, glorious music.

DIRECTOR: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau
Producer: Kristina Larsen, Gilles Sandoz
Editor: Mathilde Muyard
Screenwriter: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau
Cinematographer: Mathieu Poirot Delpech
Principal Cast: Guy Marchand, Françoise Fabian, Sabrina Seyvecou, Yannick Renier
Filmography: For Both: Born in 68 (2008), Cote d’Azur (2005), My Life on Ice (2002), The Adventures of Felix (1999), Jeanne and the Perfect Guy (1998)
Print Source: Films Distribution SAS -

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