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Goodnight, Mister Tom (1998)
A War Story
This movie resonated with me on two levels. As a kid I was evacuated from London and planted on unwilling hosts in a country village. While I escaped the bombing and had experiences which produced treasured memories (for example hearing a nightingale sing one dark night for the very first time) and enjoying a life I never could have had in London, I missed my family and worried about them. Tom is an old man whose wife and child have both died and who lives alone in a small country village.As an old man who is now without a wife whose kids have gotten married and live far away in another province, I am again sometime lonely. The boy's mother is a religious fanatic with very odd ideas of raising a child. Since a deep affection has grown between old Tom Oakley and this young lad, Tom goes in search of him and finally rescues him from very odd and dangerous circumstances. At the end of the story there is great tension since due to some bureaucratic ruling it seems that the child is going to lose someone who has developed a loving relationship with him.
Khane-ye doust kodjast? (1987)
A determined boy saves a friendship.
This child, a boy of about 8, takes a friend's homework book home in error and fearful that his mistake will prevent another boy from doing his homework which will result in his pal's expulsion from school and thus the loss of a friendship tries to return the book. First however and this is only the first of the many problems he encounters he must persuade busy parents who will not listen to allow him to leave the house and return the book.
He sneaks off and then although he has only a vague idea of where his friend lives attempts to find the house which is in another village some distance away. The journey is long and night is falling; he meets mostly uncooperative adults on the way. I was amazed at determination of this very serious young boy to prevent the expulsion of the friend. You will gain good incites from this movie into the lifestyles of both adults and children in a rural part of Iran where the nature of the terrain makes travel difficult. He doesn't find the house but does succeed in solving the problem in his own unique way. If you like movies about kids you will enjoy this one.
Central do Brasil (1998)
This woman (Dora) is a fraud and cheat. She charges poor illiterate people for letters to friends and relatives and yet never actually mails them. She is a poor retired teacher on a small pension and sees in this newly orphaned 10 year old boy Joshue no more than enough cash to buy a new television set. However when she realizes through a friend the awful consequences of what she has done, she rescues the child from a fate quite awful to contemplate and unable to return to her apartment to face retribution from the criminals she has angered, she goes together with Joshue in search of his Dad.
The boy has never known his father and has an exaggerated idea of what and who he is. The child having just lost his mother & overcoming his initial very reasonable dislike for Dora grows to love her. Dora in turn during a series of adventures with this boy among the poorest of the poor in Brazil and perhaps because she has never had any children becomes fond of Joshue.
I will not spoil the experience by telling you of the ending. However things turn out well for the boy in a surprising way and Dora leaves, her heart breaking. The bond established between these two is the point of the story and there is a bitter-sweet ending.
A lovely movie.
Voor een verloren soldaat (1992)
For A Lost Soldier
I don't know if a boy of 12 can be attracted sexually to an adult male as was depicted in this movie. For me it raises the question of at what age does a person who is going to grow up gay become interested in someone of the same sex. It is obvious that the young soldier takes advantage of the innocence of a youngster although it is suggested too that the feelings of the soldier are more than merely sexual. The dance scene implies that there was love. The end of the movie and the title implies that the boy remembers the soldier in later years and as a mature adult with affection and perhaps longing so one is tempted to conclude that relationship with the young soldier though brief was meaningful. I was reminded of the relationship of the boy and the old man in Cinema Paradiso which although certainly not of a sexual nature was also very important to both the boy and the man. For a Lost Soldier gave me much to think about and is likely to provoke much thought in the intelligent viewer.
A Feast at Midnight (1994)
I went to this kind of school and only wish we had had the opportunity to have this much fun. Of course the head was very strict in the movie as he was in my school and we would not have dared to break rules in that way. The sensual part was deftly handled and gave no cause for concern. This was in every way a family movie.
I enjoyed it immensely because I guess I am still a kid at heart and I love to cook. What a great relationship this kid had with his Dad and with the other boys in the school. Edward Fox was very believable as the English gentleman gourmet father of our hero, Magnus.
Kudos to the writer, the director and the boys who did all that fine acting especially Freddy Findlay. Definitely a film that can be watched more than once.