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Maurice Pialat and the New French Realism

L’Enfance nue

Naked Childhood

Pialat’s moving first feature, about an orphan child searching for a family.

Image from L’Enfance nue

France 1968
Dir Maurice Pialat
With Michel Tarrazon, Linda Gutenberg, Raoul Billerey
83min
35mm
English subtitles

Pialat’s first feature – part-produced by François Truffaut and echoing his The 400 Blows – follows an orphaned boy whose erratic, aggressive behaviour leads him to be passed from one family to another. Wholly unsentimental and unconventional in his approach, Pialat cast non-actors and filmed entirely in the north of France, creating unforgettable scenes that, in their truthfulness, are both unflinching and tender.


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