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  • Directed by: François Truffaut
  • Cast: Jean-Pierre Leaud, Albert Remy
  • Country: France
  • Year: 1959
  • Duration: 100min
  • Certificate: PG
  • Type: Film

One of the greatest films about childhood, Truffaut’s partly autobiographical first feature is also profoundly moving. Forever in trouble at school – when he’s not playing truant – 13-year-old Antoine Doinel finds life no easier at home; besides demanding he help with housework and shopping, his parents frequently bicker with one another. Eventually there’s a tipping point... Eliciting a memorably affecting and naturalistic performance from the young Jean-Pierre Léaud and achieving a documentary-like authenticity by shooting in far-from-glamorous Paris locations, Truffaut leavens Antoine’s faltering progress through a painful pubescence with moments of irreverent humour and exhilarating energy. Never sentimental, it’s nonetheless a heartbreakingly plausible portrait of adolescent individuality under threat from adult conformism. BFI

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