The Wild Child (1970) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 1798. In a forest, some countrymen catch a wild child who can not walk, speak, read nor write. Doctor Itard is interested by the child, and starts to educate him. Everybody thinks he will fail, but with a lot of love and patience, he manages to obtain results and the child continues with normal development. This is based on true story.

  • In a French forest in 1798, a child is found who cannot walk, speak, read or write. A doctor becomes interested in the child and patiently attempts to civilize him.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The film is set in the 18th century. A young boy (Jean-Pierre Cargol) is found in the forest near Aveyron. The child was discovered after living in the wild for the first serveral years of his life, so he is placed under the supervision of Dr. Jean Itard. Itard (François Truffaut) names the boy Victor and observes the child's attempt to survive in his new, unknown world.

    There's a narrow margin between the civilized aspects of rough Parisian life and the brutal laws of life in nature. Victor finds a sort of equilibrium in the windows that mark the transition between the closed interiors and the world outside. Candles and mandoline airs also have an effect on him. But Victor gains his ability to have social relations by losing his capacity to live as a savage.

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