The Olive Trees of Justice

(Les oliviers de la justice)

Digital Restoration

An excellent, expert film of broad compassionate humanism.

Film Quarterly

Pierre Prothon, Jean Pélégri, Marie Decaître, Hugguette Poggi,

Blue’s only full-length fiction film, The Olive Trees of Justice was the first film directed by an American to win the Critics’ Week prize at Cannes. Filmed on location in Algiers and the surrounding countryside during the crucial days of 1962, the film depicts the Algerian struggle for independence from the French by concentrating on a young Frenchman of Algerian descent (a “pied noir”) who returns to Algiers to visit his dying father. His memories of boyhood on his father’s farm are told in flashbacks with a lush serenity that contrasts with the teeming, tank-filled streets. 

  • James Blue
  • Sylvain Dhomme
Based On
  • a novel by Jean Pélégri

  • Julius Rascheff
  • French
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 81 mins
  • Kino Lorber
Additional Info
  • Restored in 4K in 2020 by L’Atelier d’Images and Thierry Derocles in collaboration with The James and Richard Blue Foundation with the support of The Film Foundation, the National Film Preservation Foundation, James Ivory, and the CNC–Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée, at L’Image Retrouvée (Paris) from a fine grain print preserved at Les Archives Françaises du Film. Special thanks to Marina Girard-Muttelet (Crossing) and John Ptak.