Here is a cinema that transcends from screen to soul…a cinema that uplifts the spirit of humanity. I just wonder how can such a classic touchstone of French cinema remained quite under known to the world! Maybe because it didn’t reach to its due audience under New Wave of French cinema thrust by Godard-Truffaut. Compared to Truffaut’s most sought after French classic ‘The 400 Blows’ this one is far great film in my opinion. However two things are common that both of the film are beautifully photographed by the legendary man of camera- Henri Decae.
How many time we come across a film where knowing somebody’s real name become such a surprisingly pleasant and blissful journey that is so heart stirring. The film portrays the sublime relationship between a guilt-ridden soldier and an unwanted girl in the missionary orphanage. Both of them are lost children in their own way, searching the joy and life into each other’s company. The man pretends to be his father and swears to meet her every Sunday. As their relationship starts healing their inner wounds, it bites by harsh reality of silly society that views their relations with different eyes.
It’s a moving cinema told in simple and minimalist style by Serge Bourguignon and the man deserves big hug from my side for making such a beautiful subtle cinema. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film the same year. The acts of both lead players is something so natural, especially the adolescent girl whose heart cracking cry made my eyes wet in those final frames. The film reminds me another sublime Indian film based on similar bonding ends as tragedy, though in lesser extent and even in that film the ending mime-act made me wet my eyes brilliantly enacted by Kamal Hasan.
However exaggerating it may seem, let me say honestly that it’s a cinema beyond ratings.