Celia (1989) – Against the World of Men

Frequent visitors to this site will have noticed that, following my viewing of Pialat’s Passe Ton Bac D’Abord (1979) and L’Enfance Nue (1968), I have written quite a bit about cinematic depictions of childhood.  Pialat’s take on the matter was almost wilfully perverse.  He cast a load of kids, gave them parts to play and then stuck a camera on them as they improvised.  The resulting performances being supposedly ‘more real’ than films such as  Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (1959) or Shane Meadows’ This is England (2007), which deal with childhood by projecting onto their child protagonists the fears, hopes and values of the film directors.  Ann Turner’s Celia embodies a third approach to the problem of depicting childhood in that it examines the ways in which children process and try to make sense of the values and actions of the adults that surround them.

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