The mother of thirteen year-old Andrew passed away three days ago, leaving him under the care of his stepfather, who is not a cruel man but an uncaring and non-understanding one. Andrew's mother was his ideal guide in a world that has been less than hospitable to their poor and broken family. His inability to bring his mother back - which he thought he could do by fixing her beloved radio - coupled with being ashamed of the family's poverty, which in turn results in ridicule by his classmates, leads Andrew to rebel against the world around him. Any hope of Andrew getting over this traumatic period in his life will depend on the caring of individuals who understand what he is going through, these people who include the school counselor and a psychologist. Written by
Like many films produced and directed by Sid Davis, this one was recorded silently. The sound was recorded later and synched to fit the picture; in many cases, Arthur Swerdloff, the editor, cut to another shot to allow him to re-sync the audio and the video. See also, Gang Boy (1954). See more »
Unsettling "pschopath-prevention" awareness film of the 1950s
Following the untimely death of his mother, a youngster(age 13) begins to exhibit signs of social disconnection and unbalance. Gradually, his disordered mental state mounts, bolstered by various unfortunate factors(excessive solitude, schoolmate cruelty, and a cold, neglectful stepfather). With his "elan vital" quietly shattering, the boy's future looks quite bleak and uncertain.
This is a highly incongruous public-awareness film, and substandard in most technical departments. It does, however, manage to succeed surprisingly well in adducing its grievous message. Deeply dispiriting, even borderline surreal at times, AGE 13 is a film which exists in a strange gray area between underfunded filmtrash and visceral outsider art. A troubling espial on society's miscreant and maladroit, and the heartbreaking ways they are "made". Stylistically, it's obviously quite dated, but there's certainly an eternal relevance and urgency to this story.
Memorable, rather moving, and recommended...warts and all. 6.5/10
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