An Arab boy, Abdullah, loves his donkey, Bim, but another boy, Massoud, who also happens to be a prince, is jealous of Abdullah and his relationship with Bim, so Massoud steals the donkey ... See full summary »
A boy makes friends with a seemingly sentient balloon, and it begins to follow him. It follows the boy to school, to the bus, and to church. Boy and balloon play together in the streets of Paris and try to elude a gang of boys that wants to destroy the balloon.Written by
This film is part of the Criterion Collection. See more »
For a brief instant, a wire can be seen attached to balloon as boy waits to cross street. Wire stands out against blue coat of man standing behind him looking on as the boy waits for intersection to clear. See more »
Avec le concours: Des Enfants De Ménilmontant et Des Ballons De La Région Parisiénne (Translation: With the assistance of: The Children of Ménilmontant and The Balloons of the Paris region.) See more »
we were shown this film in school, but did you fear the emotions?
Wow, I thought of this film recently and remember it fondly. So, I looked it up on IMDb, hoping that this hadn't been a dream, and that it really existed. I wish I could see this film again today.
A little boy is chosen by a red balloon, which colours his otherwise dreary, grey days. I was shown this film in class in kindergarten (late '70s) and again in grade school, I believe. When I first saw it, it was with a rather existential, perhaps detached, view of it. Not much reaction, really. I didn't quite know what to make of it. Fortunately, I didn't rely on a little gang of pals to tell me what to think about it. I had never seen anything like it. It struck me that it was foreign. I liked that about it. The foreignness intrigued me, also the fact that it was old. It always impressed me how kids wore little grown-up shoes in '50s Europe. The quietness of the little boy, Pascal, also had a profound impact on me. I never understood the need for us kids in the U.S. to constantly yak about endless bull**** in order to feel secure. We never enjoy the silence. This carries on into adulthood. There's meaningless small talk, endless jibber jabber, all in an effort to hide, behind voluminous verbiage, our true sensitive selves from the big bad world. There's an existentialist problem for you. If there are any xenophobic misgivings against "the French," it's because they've long faced the human condition in a way that we as "Americans" are far too infantile as a culture to do; and, at this point, far too stunted with cultural arrested development to ever hope to do so.
I suppose the cruel little boys in the film symbolised the barbaric/insensitive "American" sensibility which I had grown used to. And the story the film conveys through such brilliant, yet simple, symbolism illumines such a range of themesfrom xenophobia, alienation, solitude and introspection to friendship, loyalty and sacrifice. Simply brilliant. This film probably taught me more than a handful of my first years of schooling combined. By the time I saw this film the second time my eyes were filled with wonder and, toward the end of the film, welled over with tears.
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