Mondo | Chicago Reader


In a largely dialogue-free story a nomadic boy—who exists in the moment, free from personal history and expectations for the future—encounters a fisherman who wants to teach him to read, a dove keeper, a magician, and an isolated, loving woman who lives in a vast orchard. The boy's easy smile and generosity captivate; he lives by his wiles, though he's not wily. But the grand ideas asserted in the bookend voice-overs, messy climax, and tidy resolution overburden what could have been an exalting meditation on the importance of kindness and dignity. Written and directed by Tony Gatlif, based on a story by J.M.G. Le Clezio; with Ovidiu Balan. In French with subtitles. (1996, 80 min.)


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