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Forbidden Games [Celluloid Hero]


Forbidden Games (1952)


I’m never sure what makes me watch movies that break my heart, but I can’t resist. I just love movies that make me feel, and once again after ninety minutes I was left devastated.

The movie begins with a Nazi attack on the French countryside in 1940.  The bombs and bullets take many victims, including the parents of an adorable 5-year-old, Paulette. She manages to make it through the bombings and ends up in the care of the Dollé family. She forms an immediate bond with their youngest son, Michel.

The pair are inseparable. Paulette is obviously distraught, and Michel does everything he can to comfort her. Without spoiling things, they end up stealing the possessions of the family and their neighbors. There’s no malicious intent, it’s just childhood innocence. However, the actions lead to dire consequences.

There is something about French films that is just…well, French. I can’t quite describe it, but there are just certain things French directors and writers do differently. They just seem to understand humanity a bit more. Yes, this movie left me feeling sad, but I give immense credit to any movie that can bring out genuine emotion.


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On the Celluloid Hero scale, “Forbidden Games” gets an 8 out of 10.

[Each week, Varacchi explores cinema from his own perspective. From indie to foreign to mainstream, he’ll watch it all. Suggestions and recommendations are welcome, leave a comment below. CLICK HERE for the Celluloid Hero archives]

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