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AGE: College, Adult, A.P. Time: 52 Min Ea. DVDs: 5
DVD: $225.00      DVD Series: $1,100.00         
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This collection of documentaries explores the indelible mark the olive tree, a symbol of life and spirit of peace, has left on the Mediterranean region for thousands of years. The Olive Route collection, rich in detail and colorful in scope, is not simply a geographical path, but a bridge connecting people, culture, trade, and spirituality that reveals a surprising common heritage among a diverse population. It is impossible to understand the history and culture of the Mediterranean without studying the impact of the humble olive tree on the region.

Titles include:

In The Olive Kingdom: Andalusia
With close to 300 million trees, Spain’s Southern province of Andalusia is the world’s uncontested Olive Kingdom. It is here that more olive oil is produced than anywhere else in the world... It is here that tons of waste from olive oil production is turned into electricity... It is here that you can gain a university degree in olive culture... The list of superlatives seems never ending. In this “sea of olive trees” there is also the largest olive mill in the world as well as the most modern biomass power station in Europe. The olive tree is said to be in the DNA of its people.

With Olive Groves In The Aegean: Greeks & Turks
In 1923 when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk rebuilt modern Turkey on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, the Treaty of Lausanne ordered that all Muslims of Turkish decent who were living in Greece be exchanged with any Greek Christians living in Asia Minor. This population exchange of nearly two million people has left deep traces, many of which are still perceptible today. Fortunately one thing soothed the resulting pain and resentment: both Greeks and Turks had been growing olive trees since the olden days, providing a main source of survival and wealth. They lost their homes, but found new olive groves offering the livelihoods they needed.

Olive Oil: The Mafia & The New Sicily
The olive tree is at the heart of Sicily’s identity, which for centuries has been the king of the island’s agriculture. At the start to the 20th century, the Sicilians were under the rule of bandits, specialists in “the business of protection” who originally provided protection for olive growers during harvest time.  Change only came in 1992, with the assassinations of the Palermo magistrates Falcone and Borsellino: they had been the symbol of the fight against the Mafia. These murders constituted a breaking point for the Sicilians. They understood that the Mafia was a curse from which they must rid themselves. With some of the key players in the revival of Sicily, we will witness the changes which have been unfolding for several years.

The Duel Of The Giants: Italy & Spain

Beyond the romantic images of olive groves, the Olive Route cannot ignore the commercial war between Italy and Spain, the duel for the leadership of the global market, estimated at a worth of billions. Together, they control 70% of the world’s olive markets. This leads us to the Olive Industry, a normally impenetrable universe, closed to the eyes of the general public. It is crammed with secrets linked to laboratories, publicity campaigns and marketing strategies with enormous financial stakes. We will discover that this war between giants is likely to be shattered soon by emerging new rivals: Turkey, China, Brazil and Australia.

The Olive Tree In The Holy Land: Jews, Christians & Muslims

The olive tree is referred to as a sacred tree in each of the holy texts: the Torah, the Bible and the Koran. Only in Jerusalem and its surrounding area do the three monotheistic religions meet in such a poignant way. Meeting passionate olive growers in the Holy Land will help us understand that here, the olive tree symbolizes a powerful connection to the lands, that planting as well as uprooting or destroying an olive tree is a political act. It is as if the olive tree here has become a hostage, a weapon, and nothing could be further from the one of peace that it plays in the sacred writings of the three religions.
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