The Tree of Magdalena

(Der Magdalenenbaum)

GDR, 1989, 84 min, color
In German; no subtitles
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)


Sailor Felix Striebel visits the fresh grave of "Mother Magdalena" during his vacation. This brings back memories of his childhood: the tree of Magdalene was an oak named after the district nurse Magda and stood as a symbol of stability and security. She was the heart of the village and accepted everyone else, even to her own detriment.


For a short time, Felix lived with her while his mother Rosie, an alcoholic, lay in the hospital. At the time, Ramboll, a depressed painter from the city, was also staying in the area. A romatic relationship grew between him and Magda, and while Felix lived with her, she almost experienced domestic happiness.


When Rosie left the hospital, however, she took Felix back in with her. Magda didn't go with Ramboll, either, who wanted to return to the city, as she expected he had needed her only to find himself again. The only thing remaining is the tree, which will remember Magda forever.


Based on the novel by Armin Müller.


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