Synopsis by Mark Deming
Filmmaker Gustavo Fontan uses a tree as a metaphor for the lives of his parents in this expressive documentary. On the day Gustavo's father, Julio Fontan, was born, his family planted a tree near his family's home. Years later, the tree is in sorry shape and Julio's wife, Maria Merlino, is certain it's dead. Given the steady stream of insects that pour in and out of the tree, Maria would appear to be right, but Julio refuses to give up, certain that the tree can somehow be saved. Gustavo follows his folks through the minutia of their daily routines and frequent conversations about the ailing tree while they try to come to some sort of compromise. El Arbol (aka The Tree) received its premiere at the 2006 Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival.
childhood, history, memory, parent, tree, wisdom