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Forbidden Games

Forbidden_games Rene Clement's adaptation of Francois Boyer's novel "Croix en Bois Croix en Fer" is an exquisitely unsentimental movie about the corruptive effect of war on children. After her parents are killed beside her in an air raid, five-year-old Paulette (Brigitte Fossey) carries her dead dog with her as she searches for a reenactment of the deaths that have traumatized her. Michel (Georges Poujouly), a young peasant boy, discovers Paulette wandering in the countryside and convinces his family to take her in. Soon, Paulette has Michel stealing crucifies and killing animals for her own private animal cemetery that she wishes to include human corpses. "Forbidden Games" caused a scandal when it was released in 1952 because it co-opted a fictional story and embellished it with the recent tragedy of war. The film is every bit as controversial today for its transparently passionate view of the permanent damage that war inflicts on its youngest survivors. Special features include new and archival interviews with Rene Clement and actress Brigitte Fossey, an alternate opening and ending to the film, the film's original theatrical trailer, optional English-dubbed soundtrack and a new essay by film scholar Peter Matthews. Aspect ratio is 1.33:1, with sound quality processed in Dolby Digital mono. (Movie - Five Stars, DVD features - Four Stars) Not Rated, 85 mins. (Criterion)

February 1, 2006 in Drama | Permalink