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Naked Childhood (1968)
"L'enfance nue" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  22 January 1969 (France)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,206 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 29 critic

A ten-year-old boy feels unwanted when his mother places him in a home for wayward children. He goes to a foster home where a family of workers finds him to be too much for them. When the ... See full summary »

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Title: Naked Childhood (1968)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Michel Terrazon ...
François
Linda Gutemberg ...
Simone
Raoul Billerey ...
Roby
Pierrette Deplanque ...
Josette
Marie-Louise Thierry ...
Madame Minguet
René Thierry ...
Minguet
Henri Puff ...
Raoul
Marie Marc ...
Meme
Maurice Coussonneau ...
Letillon
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Storyline

A ten-year-old boy feels unwanted when his mother places him in a home for wayward children. He goes to a foster home where a family of workers finds him to be too much for them. When the unruly child discovers the family plans to give up on him, he drowns their daughter's cat in retaliation. He is sent to another home where he is cared for by an elderly couple. The boy takes to the woman, a kindly grandmother who reaches out to the disturbed boy. His deliberate disobedience lessens somewhat in his new environment, but he is arrested after throwing bolts at cars from a bridge. The boy tries to overcome his mother's rejection and struggles to boost his self-image in this childhood drama. Written by Dan Pavlides

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

22 January 1969 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Naked Childhood  »

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marie-Louise Thierry and René Thierry were real life foster parents. Maurice Pialat became acquainted with the couple and cast them in lead roles after he began researching the plight of children in the foster care system. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amazingly realistic and non-theatrical.
21 July 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Arlette Langmann and Maurice Pialat wrote the screenplay for "Naked Childhood" and Pialat himself directed this film. In many ways, it is reminiscent of the story of Antoine Doinel in Truffaut's film "The 400 Blows", as it follows a neglected child through the foster care system--a very grim one indeed. Apparently, the story was inspired by an actual child who was raised by foster parents Marie-Louise and René Thierry--two folks who the director asked to appear in this film as the elderly foster parents.

This is the story about a young boy who was given up by his mother to the foster care system. The child, François (Michel Terrazon) acts out in response to being rejected in his first foster home--and as a result, is passed on to another foster home. The bottom line is that the boy has learned to be angry and violent and he appears to be headed for disaster unless something changes very quickly. Is there any hope for the kid? Can the elderly couple get through to him? This is an unusual film because it does not feature non-stop action and suspense. Sometimes the film is a bit slow--but not in a bad way--more like real life. It also features a little boy who is far from perfect but who is not constantly bad, either--he's more amoral than anything else. I liked this, as life is very rarely black & white--though it frequently is in movies. And, the film really doesn't have an ending. Because of this, the film feels more like a slice of life than a movie--which is pretty typical of the French New Wave style of the 1960s. It's probably not the sort of thing the average viewer would like, but it is a quality production. While this sort of thing does not make for the most pleasant viewing, having worked in the welfare system myself many years ago, I can certainly relate to the story of the boy--having seen kids passed on from one home to another to another. It's really no wonder the kids often act out and what is amazing is that many don't!


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