The Wild Child
DIRECTOR: FRANçOIS TRUFFAUT
CAST: JEAN-PIERRE CARGOL, FRANçOIS TRUFFAUT, FRANçOISE SEIGNER, JEAN DASTé
The real-life case of “Victor of Aveyron,” a child grown to the verge of adolescence without human contact, discovered in a forest in the south of France at the end of the 18th century, became the basis for this touching and turbulent meditation on education and acculturation. Truffaut stars as Victor’s mentor, Dr. Itard, and records the boy’s socialization in documentary detail, while cinematographer Nestor Almendros, shooting in high-contrast black-and-white in the 1.33:1 Academy ratio and making ample use of irises, evokes the look and texture of early cinema. Truffaut, who always displayed a flair for a final scene, here concludes with one of his most quietly devastating endings.