“L’Enfant sauvage” begins like an experimental film, with such harsh realism and austerity quite unlike anything Truffaut ever did (as far as I know anyway). And when the story unfolds, it’s damn impressive and patient. At the same time it addresses complex issues about education, social instutions, enlightenment tradition, etc. without straightforward moralism, but neither avoiding the difficult issues.
A damn near impossible film to classify. It's austere nature is along the line of Bergman and Dreyer and, conceptually, it's seems influenced by Herzog and Hitchcock's The Wrong Man. Yet, it's light-heartedness is still Truffaut-ian. He took a gamble and it paid off wonderfully. The young actor is extraordinary. The relation between the senses and logical deduction is also quite fascinating.
The strongest argument against institutionalization of the "different" person. Assimilation does not exist without tenderness and patience; socialization, should we assume it as the ultimate goal, can not exist without acceptance. Also: amazing little Jean-Pierre Cargol!
Beautiful film by Truffaut! The more of his work I see, the more I realize how much he explored to dynamism of a screen. The story here is simple, plot developments are few, but the amount of feeling is remarkable, particularly the deep ambivalence of watching a boy whose learning causes himself very visible pain. While Godard was off with the Dziga Vertov Group, Truffaut for better or worse stuck with Renoir.
I feel joy, sorrow, and pain when watching The Wild Child. The film makes me want to be a more compassionate and caring human, it evokes genuine feelings of sensitivity and wonderment in me. Some of the best child acting I've ever seen. Simply put, this is a simple film with a broad theme, executed perfectly.