On her 80th birthday, a woman moves through time to meet younger versions of herself. “The Oak Tree,” directed by Yuliya Antonova, is a deep rumination on big, unanswerable questions that transports with dreamy visuals and an ethereal soundscape. A family gathers around a birthday cake to sing the Swedish birthday song for their aging matriarch, who seems to have a lot on her mind. As she leaves the room and wanders into a nearby field, she encounters herself as a younger woman, as an adolescent, as a girl and as a child, and she contemplates the mysteries of life. A heady philosophical and metaphysical deep dive — “How come we remember the past but not the future?”; “How long is always?”) — its exploration of time and universal origins are rendered with a generous, open-minded intellect. -KA.
Director & Scriptwriter & Editing: Yuliya Antonova. Cast: Karin Bertling, Elinor Wattman, Stella Juhlin, Klara Andrée Nyberg, Esther Mattsson. DP: Haris Mlivic. 1st AC/Focus puller: Michael Tebinka. Gaffers: Andreas Månsson, Daniel Svanberg. Best boy: Joel Sundqvist. DIT: Felicia Westerlund. Production designer: Ylva Norlin. Costume designer: Liliya Fayruzova. Sound design & sound mix: Tony Österholm. Colorist: Sabina Törnberg. Music: Romain Allender. Producer: Julia Isaksson.