When a Tree Falls (Amama)

Asier Altuna | Drama, Fiction

2015 | 103 minutes | Spain

This powerfully visualized drama of generational conflict signals the emergence of a vital Basque regional cinema in Spain.


This powerfully visualized drama of generational conflict signals the emergence of a vital Basque regional cinema in Spain.

The crux of the film is a farm, spectacularly situated in the mountainous northeast, that has remained in the same family for countless generations. But, when the eldest son and heir apparent, like so many of the region’s young people, decamps to the city, the burden passes to his sister Amaia (Elias), an artist whose progressive ways place her at odds with her rigidly traditionalist father (Aranga).

The film’s title, which means "Grandma" in Basque, refers to the family matriarch who will play a pivotal role in Amaia’s attempt to bridge the divide between tradition and evolution. - Gene Siskel Film Center


"If you want to be thoughtfully melancholy for a couple of hours in the presence of images of striking beauty, watch Amama." — Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter

"An intense generation gap drama set in a remote area of northern Spain's Basque Country, Asier Altuna's visually sumptuous second feature about a family's struggle to break loose from its past is sometimes ponderous but more often poetic, rolling with a slow cumulative power which means that by the end, most early doubts about hollow pretentiousness have been dispelled." — Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter

Main credits

Altuna, Asier (film director)
Altuna, Asier (screenwriter)
Fernández Pascal, Marian (film producer)
Esnal, Telmo (screenwriter)
Uranga, Kandido (actor)
Elias, Iraia (actor)
Badiola, Amparo (actor)
Badiola, Klara (actor)

Other credits

Cinematography, Javier Agirre Erauso; editor, Laurent Dufreche; music, Mursego, Javi P3Z.

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Goya Awards® - Nominated, Best Newcomer Actress
San Sebastián Film Festival
Cinemed Montpellier Festival of Mediterranean Cinema
Cinemamed Festival Mediterraneen de Bruxelles
Tallin Black Nights Film Festival
Mar del Plata International Film Festival

DIRECTOR: Asier Altuna


YEAR: 2015

GENRE: Drama, Fiction


COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: College, Adults



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