“What’s a cemetery?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
— is nearly beyond belief, as are the incredibly distressing, albeit realistic, final moments of the storyline (which, by the way, are “spoiled” in Peary’s review). Writer-director Rene Clement films Forbidden Games from a child’s perspective, and is primarily concerned with exploring how children cope with the chaos of wartime. While Peary expresses ambivalence about the meaning of the children’s obsession with burials (“I’ve never been able to figure out the significance of the children’s death-burial-prayer fascination”), to me the symbolism is crystal clear: in a world where unspeakable death surrounds them, children must find some way to regain a sense of personal agency. Peary also points out the disparity between the hypocritical “Christian” adults in this film — who are “habitually at odds with one another” — and the innocent simplicity of Paulette and Michel’s friendship. Rarely has a film so effectively portrayed the disparities between the fantasy-laden survival of children, and the brutish animosity of adults.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)