THE WILD CHILD (1970) B/W widescreen 85m dir: Francois Truffaut
w/Francois Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Cargol, Jean Daste
A beautiful essay on teaching, giving, and eventually receiving, love. The "wild child" is a baby abandoned in the woods of France and discovered years later, around 1797, by a local farmer. Director Truffaut himself portrays the dedicated Dr. Jean Itard, a Frenchman who undertook the formidable task of training the brutish child.
From Variety 's review: "Though based on a true case [Jean Itard's Memoire et Rapport sur Victor de L'Aveyron , published in 1806], it eschews didactics and creates a poetic, touching and dignified relationship between the doctor and his savage charge. ... It progresses slowly but absorbingly. Truffaut underplays but exudes an interior tenderness and dedication. The boy is amazingly and intuitively well played by a tousled gypsy tike named Jean-Pierre Cargol. Everybody connected with this unusual, off-beat film made in black-and-white rates kudos."