1798. In a forrest, some countrymen catch a wild child who can not walk, speak, read neither write. The Doctor Itard is interested by the child, and starts to educate him. Everybody thinks he will fail, but with a lot of love and patience, he manages to obtain results…This is a true story. —IMDb
The product of an unhappy, loveless home, Truffaut began using films to escape the exigencies of reality at age seven, virtually living in various Parisian movie houses. He left school to go to work at 14, and, one year later, founded a film club, which brought him to the attention of influential cinema critic Andre Bazin. Over the next few years, Bazin both financed and protected Truffaut. In 1953, Bazin hired Truffaut as a critic/essayist for Cahiers du Cinema. It was in the January 1954 edition that Truffaut published his landmark essay “A Certain Tendency in the French Cinema,” in which he attacked directors who merely ground out films without any personal cinematic vision; he also propounded the auteur theory, which opined that the only directors worth serious consideration were those who left their own individual signatures on each of their films. Truffaut noted that writing critiques enabled him to understand why he loved films and to rationalize his reasons for liking them… read more
In this fascinating and gently moving film based on a real case, Truffaut cast himself as the doctor tasked to civilize a young boy discovered living in a forest at the end of the 18th century. He takes him into his home and what follows is a painstaking and time consuming task which is never less than absorbing for the viewer. My only minor criticism is of the abrupt ending which left a lot of unanswered questions..
Mowgli+Friday=L'enfant sauvage. And they ask playfully: What about le petit Jean-Jacques Rousseau? We think the core of the movie is trying to tell us that we all carry freedom in ourselves, potentially, but only into society freedom can coming alive, manifests and makes sense. The end was perfectly optimistic, maybe because le professeur didn't want to spoil his little romantic and dreamy utopia, as all good Frenchmen rationalists do. The kid returned home because he was tamed by culture (in the beginning we see that he needn't humans or otherness). But you'll never know with human being.