Olmi’s Palme d’Or–winning masterpiece is an epic, ennobling portrait of four families living and working on a wealthy landowner’s estate in 19th-century Lombardy. From an accumulation of richly observed details, the director builds a work of monumental majesty that vividly portrays the peasants’ hardships, celebrations, beliefs, relationships to the land and animals, and, above all, the rhythms and rituals of their work, at once backbreaking but honest in its purity. Balancing an almost documentary-like commitment to realism with a poetic feeling for landscape, The Tree of Wooden Clogs overflows with love and concern for its common heroes.