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Chronicle of a Boy Alone

Leonardo Favio

CHRONICLE OF A BOY ALONE, is an indictment of a fascist regime running roughshod over its most vulnerable citizens, its children. Focusing on the bleak life of eleven-year-old bad boy Polin, who’s been abandoned by his family and sent to live in a state-run orphanage, it’s also a moving portrait of the human spirit imprisoned by the chains of well-intentioned fools. Inside the harsh confines of the supposedly beneficial institution, Polin and his fellow inmates must deal with constant physical and psychological abuse by the staff, as well as the natural emotional tensions brought on by their own burgeoning adolescence. But through it all, they manage to keep their hopes alive with optimistic talk of freedom and bold plans of escape. One day, when the opportunity finally arises, and Polin learns that freedom, too, has its price.

“Although it’s basically an Argentine remake of Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, with its central character being a young delinquent boy from the villas and complete with a running scene as the boy escapes from detention (with jump cuts in a nod to Godard maybe), it’s also a singularly beautiful film full of inventive black and white compositions and elegant camera moves that reveal both interior and exterior spaces in surprising ways.” Rick Powell

“…we can see the influence of European cinema from Shoeshine to A Man Escaped and The 400 Blows but still there is something quaint in film’s silence and in the cries that are the only ones that break it. Favio’s touch is introspective; he lingers on simple events simply to show the everyday fascism. At the beginning we see how the boys march as their shadows are reflected wall like from Plato’s famous parable, later Favio once again takes time to show the rhythm of their lives behind the walls – protagonist Polín runs with signboard on him saying “beware, I’m a deserter”, other boys play with marble balls, one covers his ears and spits on the ground in rhythm, other boys lean against the walls, likely hoping that another day would pass. In this institution, it is only the violence that breaks the routine and makes sound; boys fighting with each others, adults hitting the boys and then, boy hitting an adult. Outside the things aren’t that different, the prison has left its mark on boy’s mentality. The fear that is born from the pressure of trying to be something else and trying to be oneself results in the cries. Nature rests in the silence – sun demarcates route to inner peace, water refrigerates. It’s a film in which the moments of beauty and freedom are much shorter than those of breakdowns and imprisonments. The little details give their own color to this world; Favio’s language of imagery consists many times of ups and downs, there are many opposites between high and low, just to showcase the imbalance in all areas of life, in both personal and general. There is long way to freedom – in this sense, it is truly an American film.” Valterri Lepistö

Showing

  • 9/9 | 7:00PM
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