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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Directed by Francois Truffaut
MGM Home Entertainment 1976 DVD/VHS Feature Film
One of the sheer delights o this year's Festival offerings was Francois Truffaut's Small Change (France 1976). It has a cinematic sparkle that truly enchants. The movie was filmed in the French provincial town of Thiers and uses non-professional children throughout. We view the activities of some ten kids in the closing weeks of the school year and during the summer vacation of camp. Truffaut does a marvelous job catching their spontaneity in the classroom, during recess, on the street, and at home.
We are treated to vignettes about a baby who prefers whistling to talking, a girl who makes an adventure out of her confinement at home, the activities of two pint-sized entrepreneurs, the touching saga of a twelve-year-old boy who becomes infatuated with his friend's mother, the account of a teen-age youth who is brutalized at home, and the earth-shaking first kiss of a girl while at camp. Through these episodes, we see just how resourceful and resilient children are. After experiencing Small Change, we are ready to agree with Charles Lam who said: "A child's nature is too serious a thing to admit of its being regarded as a mere appendage of another being." Kids as individuals are celebrated in this charming movie.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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