L'Enfance Nue

1968

Drama

162
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 2,097

Synopsis


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November 27, 2020

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720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
764.56 MB
1280*720
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
83 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.39 GB
1920×1080
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
83 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bob998 10 / 10 / 10

Yes, a masterpiece

Well... Les 400 coups has been placed at no. 140 in IMDb's list of all-time great films, and as much as I admire Francois Truffaut's work, I am more impressed by L'Enfance nue, Pialat's first film, made when he was 43. Owing to the vagaries of the distribution system, I never saw it when it first appeared, and am now able to write about it thanks to TFO's enlightened film series. Pialat was a realist, maybe to the point of turning off his audiences. If you have seen A nos amours or Loulou, you know you're in for a gruelling experience. Actors pushed to the breaking point, cutting that puts you right in the action, without any establishing background. The scene between Francois and Raoul, where the latter gets out of bed to look for Francois, then the knife slams into the door, just missing Raoul's head by inches, is unforgettable. The actors are mostly amateurs; they do not try to attract your attention with gestures or speech, they just settle in and tell the story. The "assistance publique" workers are sympathetically rendered: there's no hint of Pialat trying to settle scores with government agencies (cf Une si jolie petite plage). The Minguet family, the second one we see--how many have there been in all?--is beautifully drawn. Just to watch Madame bringing soup to Meme, arranging the clothes, the napkin, it's a marvel of observation. The story hinges on Francois, of course, and his performance is angry, violent, joyous, destructive--he's Pialat's alter ego, I can't help but feel.

Reviewed by nmegahey 10 / 10 / 10

Pialat's incredible debut feature

Looking not unlike Jean-Pierre Léaud, Michel Tarrazon's young 10 year-old tearaway François could very well be an alternative continuation of the story of Truffaut's Antoine Doinel after the 400 Blows (Truffaut indeed was one of the film's producers alongside Claude Berri), but the treatment from Maurice Pialat, in his first feature film, is notably more harshly realist. Abandoned by his parents, François is passed from one foster family to another, each of them finding it impossible to control a young boy who inevitably has behavioural problems and gets into a lot of trouble torturing cats, stealing from other kids and wielding a large knife. Although he is given love and affection by the poor families who take him in for the little extra money they will receive, he inevitably never feels like he belongs and ends up turning against the people who want to help him. Made when he was 43 years old, L'Enfance Nue clearly has strongly autobiographical elements – although Pialat wasn't placed in the hands of the social services, he was brought up by his grandparents and did feel abandoned by his parents. The film also depicts the social circumstances of the period and the poverty of the outlying suburban districts (already the subject of the director's 1961 short film L'Amour Existe). Using non-professional actors, L'Enfance Nue consequently also has a certain almost documentary-like realism that would become characteristic of Pialat's hard-hitting style.

Reviewed by howard.schumann 10 / 10 / 10

Captures the essence of humanity

François Fournier (Michel Terrazon) is a ten-year old boy dumped into the foster care system in France by his single mother, whom the film suggests was mentally ill. Maurice Pialat's first feature L'enfance nue is an unsentimental look at the foster care system in France and its effects on those in its care. Written by Maurice Pialat and Arlette Langmann and performed by non-professional actors with much of the dialogue unscripted, L'enfance nue comes from the director's own experience of being raised by his grandparents and the emotional distance he felt towards his biological mother and father. Though the film lacks peak dramatic moments and emotional payoffs, in its volatile main character; it captures the essence of humanity, in all of its contradictions. François personifies that ambivalence. He can be goodhearted and mean-spirited, cruel and kind, angry and loving, a cauldron of emotions that are sometimes hidden below the surface and sometimes acted out. Like most children, he is inarticulate and is at a loss to explain his actions, but the film does not seek any explanation. It just observes rather than judges. As the film opens, we see a protest march about economic conditions, but we soon learn that this is not a political statement, only a suggestion of the socio-economic area in which the film is set. François is living in the home of foster parents Simone (Linda Gutemberg) and Roby Joigny (Roual Billerey) who are unable to have their own children. We see him steal a watch, then flush it down the toilet, dropping his foster sister Josette's (Pierrette Deplanque) cat down a stairwell, refusing to eat, and peeing on the floor around his bed. Unable to cope, his foster parents deliver him back to Social Services but, again confounding our expectations, François lovingly buys a gift for his foster mother and seems genuinely sad about leaving. After a revealing scene at the adoption center where prospective parents size up the orphans in a way that reminded me of the slave auction in "12 Years a Slave," François is placed in the home of an older couple, the Thierry's (Marie-Louise and René Thierry, real-life foster parents) whom he calls Grandma and Grandpa. Also in the home are Raoul (Henri Puff), a teenage foster child, a younger girl, and Mrs. Thierry's elderly mother Nana (Marie Marc), who is mostly confined to bed. François responds to the tenderness shown by Nana who reads to him, sings songs with him, and talks about her life. They even discuss the meaning of the word "mistress." We think there is progress when he shows a sense of guilt for the first time after he steals Nana's coin purse and then quietly puts it back under her pillow. François is also drawn to Grandpa and spontaneously kisses him after he hears stories about the old man's activities with the French Resistance during World War II. Eventually, however, even the Thierry's begin to question his normality after he throws a knife at Raoul, deliberately spills soup on his brother's lap, smokes cigarettes and hangs out with his neighborhood toughs who together decide to throw iron bars at passing cars from an elevated bridge, an adventure that leads to serious consequences. With his very expressive eyes that seem to look right through you, Michel Terrazon is remarkable as the young man acting out his anger. Others are notable as well including Henri Puff's as young Raoul, but it is Terrazon's memorable performance that remains with us and haunts our dreams.

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