Monday, 21 July 2008
Films about Children
Lord of the Flies
The 400 Blows
The Bicycle Thieves
Continuing on the apocalyptic theme introduced by The Road, here are three harsh films about children: about the cruelties children can inflict on each other, the cruelties inflicted on children by the adult world and the cruelty a child inflicts on himself - or at least the tragic disappointments that a child suffers when his consciousness collides with socially accepted views of what his father has become.
Lord of the Flies is obviously apocalyptic and an allegory of the English class system, but the other films also have End Times elements, the sense of finality that comes with the loss of belief and trust, that sense of isolation and abandonment and loneliness that comes with betrayal by your family, friends and society.
This loss of belief is something that the boy in The Road doesn't experience - he has never experienced humanity or warmth or love even, but he always believes in those things. He retains the fire within that makes us human, but in a strange way the book is not about him, but about his father, a man who says one thing but does another, whose loss of belief and failure to retain his humanity stands in such opposition to his son's dignity and ultimate trust.