Film is moving, poetic idyll of the effect of the [Second World] war on two moppets. It contrasts the world of two youngsters to the ransacked world created by their elders.
Story starts with the French exodus during the war. In the midst of a strafing by the enemy, a little girl’s parents and her dog are killed. She is picked up by a little farm boy who takes her home with him. In burying the dog they decide to make a little cemetery for animals. This leads to bloodshed between two feuding farm families.
The relationship of the children is well sustained throughout and though child psychology is strained in spots, it gives a touching counterpoint to the vapid meanderings of the adults. The kids are finally separated when the law claims the little orphan.
Rene Clement’s direction is excellent. Moppets Brigitte Fossey and Georges Poujouly are brilliantly handled and give an air of spontaneity to their roles. Lensing is a bit flat but editing is a fine asset. Adult roles are good with Lucien Hubert as the exasperated father a standout.
1952: Best Foreign Language Film