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A Child in the Crowd + The Mischief Makers (15*)

Part of: Chronic Youth Film Festival

A still from Gerard Blain's A Child in the Crowd

A rare 35mm screening of the most acclaimed film from radical writer-director Gérard Blain – an autobiographical portrait of youth during the German occupation of Paris.

During the Nazi occupation, thirteen-year-old Paul lives with his mother and grandmother in a small Parisian apartment after being abandoned by his father. A lonely child, he looks for affection wherever he can find it, be it with Nazi occupiers or French Resistance fighters.

Honest and ambiguous, Gérard Blain’s minimalistic style makes for a powerful approach to taboo subject matter, depicting the vulnerability of innocence and a child's profound loneliness. 

Providing a counterpoint to the rich history of French coming-of-age films, A Child in the Crowd is the neglected little brother of 400 Blows, mirroring this canonical film's subject matter but diverging greatly in approach and style.

François Truffaut's first short film, The Mischief Makers, stars Gérard Blain and Bernadette Lafont, in a remembrance of youth.

France 1976 Dir Gérard Blain 85 min

France 1957 Dir François Truffaut 23 min

* These films have been locally classified by the Barbican Centre


photo of young programmer victoria

Introducing: Chronic Youth Film Festival

Our Young Programmers Arjun, Victoria, DipoVaradhraj and Thomas introduce a few of the films showing at this year's Chronic Youth Film Festival.

Barbican Cinema 2