The Tree, on DVD

Australian cinema brings us another beautiful, rare gem of a film. The Tree is a film adaptation of Julie Pascoe’s bestselling novel, Our Father Who Art in a Tree. Filmmaker Julie Bertuccelli had always wanted to adapt the book The Baron in the Trees, by Italo Calvino, but it wasn’t possible. So she went looking for another tree story, and happily found Pascoe’s novel.

Set in breathtaking Australia, a mother and her four children are forced to cope with the sudden death of her husband and the children’s father. They all do this in their own way, but several find comfort in the giant fig tree that grows directly next to the family’s house. The lone daughter Simone, age 8, begins hearing her father whisper to her through the tree. She shares this with her mother, who then also begins to find comfort in the tree. The tree really is the largest character in the story, and it’s easy to see how it comes to life and takes over the family and the house. It’s done in such a beautiful and literary way, and is a wonderful metaphor for dealing with grief. It's also powerful how the tree is used to represent the force of nature and its affect on people.

For more Australian films of note that are available at AADL, check here.