“So fluid, so graceful, so apparently natural, that it seemed not to have any agenda at all. It didn’t feel willful; it felt (as revolutions too rarely do) inevitable.” – Terrence Rafferty, The New York Times
“THE 400 BLOWS tells us in simple compassionate terms a collective moral truth that we know in our bones but is often swept under the carpet of adult conformity – that a child entering adulthood amounts to a second painful birth.” – John Conomos, Senses of Cinema
“It’s as if by simultaneously detaching his stories from both the time when they were lived and the time they were filmed, Truffaut was filming neither his own youth nor even that of the character Antoine Doinel, but youth itself. Its particulars, doubly abstracted, continue to feel universal to this day.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Thirteen year-old Antoine Doinel is mischievous and adventurous, but mostly just misunderstood. We follow along as he ditches school to ride the “Wheel of Death” at a carnival and engage in petty theft until his rebellion catches up with him. The film was the first feature for François Truffaut.