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Las acacias (2011)
You don't know what they're thinking, you don't know how they're feeling, you can only guess. That's what makes this film intriguing and gives a "real life" feel to it. There is no background intrusive music, just the hum of a timber lorry lumbering (!) on the highway to Buenos Aires with its human cargo of man, woman and baby. One of the adults seems to have a lonely life without a family, the other one is part of a large and loving family, but there are hints of problems in their backgrounds. By journey's end you are hoping that all three will share a happy future together. By the way, there's no violence and only one brief bit of swearing.
Joni Jones (1982)
This series was shown on the, then, new Welsh channel 4 and is one of the best TV series I've ever seen. It's about a boy growing up in North Wales during the war and I believe it is semi-autobiographical. I wish it was available to buy on DVD. In my favourite episode Joni accidentally swallows some chewing gum obtained from some Americal G.I.'s and his friends tell him he will die. He writes a Will bequeathing his meagre possessions but is very relieved to wake up the following morning. In another episode he covets a football in a shop window but hasn't any money so has to make do with a bundle of rags. Whilst his mother is collecting money for the war effort savings club he steals a coin from an elderly lady but his conscience gets the better of him. In the last series Joni is sent by train to an English boarding school in Shrewsbury where he is very homesick and writes letters to his mother pleading to come home.
The Devil's Playground (1976)
A thought provoking "coming of age" film about a teenage boy at a Catholic Boarding School run by monks
This was a very thought provoking film for me and after several years I'd love to see it again (I've seen it twice on TV). The young hero was so natural I felt I knew him, and he had a very likable personality. The two monks in mufti enjoying a night on the town were more down to earth and likable than most of the other monks at the Catholic boarding school and after successfully picking up two women in a pub they got cold feet! It was interesting to see how another monk who seemed very emotionally cold dealt with a trip to a mixed gender public swimming baths, and the amazing erotic dream he had afterwards. The subjects of troubled adolescence and religious repression were well explored. The film hasn't dated at all. I hope someone brings this out on a DVD.