The 400 Blows (1959)

This French New Wave film directed by Francois Truffaut, more aptly titled The Wild One or Raising Hell, is about a young boy named Antoine. He comes from a working class family and his parents are struggling and frustrated. In school he gets poor grades and his teacher often punishes him. Annoyed with his life, he runs off for a time committing petty crimes and exploring the streets with a friend. That ends when he is caught stealing his father’s typewriter. Fed up for the last time his parents send him away to an observation center for boys. After he arrives Antoine escapes and runs to the ocean a sight he has never seen. With that the camera zooms in and we clearly see the face of this troubled, young boy. It is easy to appreciated this film because it does not glamorize the situation but tries to deal with it sensitively. Truffaut made a very good one here reflecting on his own experiences.

5/5 Stars

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