EL ÁRBOL DE LAS FRESAS

(THESTRAWBERRY TREE)

Simone Rapisarda Casanova

Cuba/Canada/Italy, 2011

71 min, Colour, Mono

EL ÁRBOL DE LAS FRESAS (THE STRAWBERRY TREE) film poster

Filmed in the remote hamlet of Juan Antonio, Cuba, only weeks before it was wiped out by a hurricane, El árbol de las fresas (The Strawberry Tree) challenges the boundaries between ethnography, documentary and reverie in capturing the final sigh of one of Cuba's last fishing villages. The villagers’ ingeniousness and resilience, as well as their playful and irreverent relationship with the filmmaker, render a sensitive portrait of a unique culture into a reflection on documentary filmmaking and on humanity on the edge of time.

there's a deceptive simplicity to Simone Rapisarda Casanova's "The Strawberry Tree," which makes this highly considered p.o.v. especially refreshing

‑Jay Weissberg (Variety)


an impressive first feature

‑Sheri Linden (The Hollywood Reporter)


“extends, complicates, and enriches the definition of documentary”

‑Melissa Anderson (Artforum)


“a refined artistry; hard to capture in words”

‑Mark Peranson (Cinema Scope)


“simply stunning”

‑Ed Rampell (Variety)


“it reframes the usual filmmaker-film subject relationship”

‑Christine Davila (IndieWire)


“formally precise”

‑Stephen Connolly (Sight & Sound)


“incredibly moving”

‑Norman Wilner (Now Magazine)


“redefining the very category of the ethnographic film”

‑Michael Sicinski (Moving Image Source)


“beautifully composed”

‑Doug Cummings (Los Angeles Weekly)


“utterly tantric”

‑Ciara Lavelle (Miami New Times)


“a fascinating anthropological experiment of sorts”

‑Clayton Davis (Awards Circuit)


“slyly masterful”

‑Peter Goddard (The Toronto Star)


“an exquisite labour of love”

‑Rowena Santos Aquino (Cinema Journal)


“ontological and bizarre”

‑David Davidson (Toronto Film Review)


“a playful, formal, deeply respectful film, [...] stunningly beautiful”

DOXA Jury Statement


“there's not really any description that can do it justice”

‑Ben Platko (Cinema Sentries)

Made with the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Créé avec le soutien du Conseil de Recherches en Sciences Humaines du Canada

Awards and Honours

2012    NFB Award for Most Innovative Canadian Documentary, DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada

            Best Documentary Feature Award, Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, Austin, TX , USA

            Grand Jury Honorable Mention, Miami International Film Festival, Miami, FL, USA

            Nominee, Grand Jury Prize, Miami International Film Festival, Miami, FL, USA

2011    Nominee, Golden Leopard Award, Locarno International Film Festival, Locarno, Switzerland

            Nominee, Best Italian Documentary Film Award, Torino Film Festival, Turin, Italy

 

Screenings (selected)

2017    Vancouver Latin American Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada

             Institute of Anthropology, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China

2013    Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid - New Cinema and contemporary art, Berlin, Germany

            Omnibus Sightlines, London, UK

            Muestra Itinerante de cine Iberoamericano iBértigo, Spain 

2012    Los Angeles Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA, USA

            Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

            Miami International Film Festival, Miami, FL, USA

            Cinematheque108, USC School of Cinematic Arts, Los Angeles, CA, USA

            Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, Austin, TX, USA

            Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid - New Cinema and contemporary art, Paris, France

            Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, Guangzhou, China

            São Paulo International Film Festival, São Paulo, Brazil

            Jean Rouch International Ethnographic Film Festival, Paris, France

            London Open City Documentary Festival, London, UK

            Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

            Husset’s Biograf, Copenhagen, Denmark

            Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Thessaloniki, Greece 

            Doxa Documentary Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada

            Cinélatino, Rencontres de Toulouse, Toulouse, France

2011    Locarno International Film Festival, Locarno, Switzerland

            IDFA - Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands

            Torino Film Festival, Turin, Italy

            Montreal World Film Festival, Montreal, Canada