The French director, Julie Bertuccelli, will close the 63rd Festival de Cannes with her 2nd feature film, The Tree. This film, adapted from Judy Pascoe’s first novel, “Our Father Who Art in the Tree” and starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, deals with the theme of mourning.
The film takes place in Australia where Dawn (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and Peter (Aden Young) live happily with their four children in the shade of their enormous fig tree. When Peter suddenly dies, each of them tries to carry on with life by reacting in their own way. Simone (Morgana Davies), the little eight-year-old daughter, believes that her father has gone to live in the tree. One day she shares her secret with Dawn…
Julie Bertuccelli was immediately inspired by Judy Pascoe's novel and decided to shoot the film in Australia not only because the story is set there, but also because such a setting could only serve to enrich her film. She searched for the right tree and the right landscape, looking at more than 1,000 trees in the Queensland region where there are many Moreton Bay Figs. "The film uses the primitive force of nature to reflect human feelings. That’s why shooting the film in Australia was essential as it’s a country where nature and its, at times amazing, excesses are at the centre of everything."
That’s why Bertuccelli travelled to the other side of the world to tell this story: “The task of mourning is like going into exile: it snatches the other person away from us, taking away a part of ourselves at the same time.It’s a journey that we make until we get to the point where we let go of the other person while keeping them inside us, just like an exile tries to maintain a link to his roots within himself."
Through this story, the director wanted to focus on the way in which we react in the face of death and how sadness can find refuge in our imagination. “When something terrible happens to you, you know that you have to live with your pain.But you can also change it into a source of creative inspiration.”
Bertuccelli, who has made numerous outstanding documentaries, draws inspiration from this experience: “in a documentary, anything can happen. You can’t anticipate everything or plan everything.I wanted to keep this power and remain mindful of what reality can offer us."
The film will be screened after the closing ceremony for the 63rd Festival de Cannes in the Grand Théâtre Lumière at 7:45 p.m. and at 11 p.m.