The Tree
There’s nothing more unspectacular than collecting water, or is there? It’s a simple task, but here it takes nearly 45 minutes, in what feels like real time: the man walks through the narrow streets, dog in tow, stopping to pick up glass bottles at the bright doorways, before heading down to the dark river. A lengthy row, a trek overland and finally the bottles are filled. It’s already dawn. The night was silent, save for the sound of the bottles clinking together and the pounding of the guns in the distance, that must be why the man met no one, why everything is as still as a painting, like what the boy sees out of the window at the very beginning, a village plucked from a fairy tale. With all the lengthy tracking shots, it would be tempting to call this real life, but the quality of the light is slightly off-kilter, all saturated greens, reds and yellows; even the landscape is lit like a stage-set. The dog wanders off in the grey of the morning and the camera follows, until there is a boy and his mother, the boy from the beginning or a different one? The perspective changes, night returns and figures merge, all things come together at that single, solitary tree.
by André Gil Mata
with Petar Fradelić, Filip Živanović, Sanja Vrzić
Portugal 2018 Bosnian 104’ Colour


  • Petar Fradelić (Ibro)
  • Filip Živanović (Ibro, child)
  • Sanja Vrzić (Mother)


Written and Directed by André Gil Mata
Cinematography João Ribeiro
Editing Tomás Baltazar
Sound Design Rafael Cardoso
Sound Antonio Pedro Figueiredo
Production Design Sandra Neves
Producers Joana Ferreira, Isabel Machado

André Gil Mata

Born in São João da Madeira, Portugal in 1978. After completing a degree in Mathematics, he completed a master’s degree in Dramaturgy and Filmmaking. Drvo is his third feature film.


2009 Arca de Água (Water Ark); 23 min. 2010 Casa (House); 5 min. 2012 O coveiro (The Gravedigger); 14 min. · Cativeiro (Captivity); 64 min. 2016 Kako sam zaljulbio u evu ras (How I Fell in Love With Eva Ras); 74 min. 2018 Drvo (The Tree)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018