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A boy comes across a white-haired wild horse in the Camargue. Ranchers seek to capture the horse, but it escapes. What will happen as the boy sets out to find the horse again? The film is set in the gorgeous landscape of the Camargue, a marsh area in the south of France where the river Rhone meets the Mediterranean Sea. Written by
Here is a child-and-horse story that goes beyond Hollywood clichés. It's idyllic and untamed, with an undertone of menace.
The somewhat artless execution is redeemed by the sublime theme and photography. And the ending blew me away.
Then, there's the wonderful acting of the principles. The boy is beautiful and earnest, his little family achingly sweet. Notice the little sister. At very young ages they tend to be undisciplined. But this tot is fully into her part, doubtless thanks to director Albert Lamorisse, who later directed his masterpiece, The Red Balloon. Of course the old grandpa is completely natural. The herders are less convincing as actors, though spectacular as horsemen.
The poignancy of the story reminds me of The Little Prince (book), also by a Frenchman. The French are very good at childhood themes. See Forbidden Games, War of the Buttons, the 400 Blows, the aforesaid Red Balloon, and Zero for Conduct, the masterpiece by Jean Vigo, whose eponymous prize White Mane won, as well as Cannes.
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