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A girl of perhaps five or six is orphaned in an air raid while fleeing a French city with her parents early in World War II. She is befriended by a pre-adolescent peasant boy after she wandered away from the other refugees, and is taken in for a few weeks by his family. The children become fast friends, and the film follows their attempt to assimilate the deaths they both face, and the religious rituals surrounding those deaths, through the construction of a cemetery for all sorts of animals. Child-like and adult activity are frequently at cross-purposes, however. Written by
Doug Shafer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film tells the story of young Paulette and Michel. It takes place in the french countryside during the war. Paulette's parents are killed and she wanders into the lives of Michel and his family. The Forbidden Games in the title refers to Paulette and Michel's concept of religion in order to come deal with death They steal crosses around the village and create a cemetery for Paulette's dead dog and other village animals. You feel so much love between the older Michel to Paulette. When the end comes and officials have to take Paulette away, the sadness one feels is so intense. Looking at Michel, his feeling of sadness and betrayal and watching Paulette deal with her loneliness and fear, and having the movie end on such a sad and abrupt note seemed right to me. This is truly a great motion picture.
French filmmakers just seem to have such great instincts when it comes to making films about children. This classic film started the wave of fine films about children, which includes many of Truffaut's films such as The 400 blows and Small Change,..also Ponette, La Vie en Rose, the Dardennes' La Promesse, Le Fils, and Rosetta, Sundays with Cybele, Louis Malle's Murmur of the Heart and Au revoir les Enfants, and a great recent documentary, To be and To Have. The children in these films and in countless other french films are treated as human beings, not cute cuddly creatures. We follow these children through their lives and it gives us hope for our own children, we realize that they have such a deep capacity themselves to feel, to think, to learn, to suffer, to love... When I see most of the movies coming out of Hollywood about children, and I see the commercialization of it all and then see how many of our kids turn out, I say.....well what did you expect.
Francois Truffaut once said that you should not make films about children because you want to understand them better, no, it should simply be because you love them. We feel Clement's love in this film.
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