I liked Les Felins so much that I wanted to see one more work from director René Clément. After browsing through his filmography, I found that Jeux interdits was one of the most recommended and had won prizes, too. I just finished watched it. My opinion: one of the best movies I have seen!
Before watching, all I knew was that the film was about war in the eyes of children. That it also involved children making cemetery was something I didn't expect. I see now that it is based on Les jeux inconnus book by François Boyer. I always like stories about friendship between a little boy and a little girl. The story is set in June 1940. Little girl Paulette (Brigitte Fossey) with her parents and Jock the dog are among the refugees from Paris. On their way, German planes attack them, and Paulette's parents, and Jock, are dead. It's sad to see her carrying the dead Jock, wandering around, until she meets Michel Dollé (Georges Poujouly), son of a farmer, who takes her to his home. A bit funny to see the Dollés, in that time of war, are at war with their neighbour The Gouards. Michel's father only agrees to take care of Paulette because he wants to show his neighbour that he is better than them. Michel wants to keep the beautiful Paulette forever; Paulette who is clean, wears a lovely dress and smells nice.
The DVD contains an interview with Fossey and she said that at first Clément wanted a girl of 9 - 11 years old to play the role of Paulette. I'm glad that in the end he chose Fossey, who was only 5 years old that time. I love the way she walked in the movie, reminds me of my dear niece, who is at the same age. I love the way Paulette digs a hole for her dead dog. Her innocence is funny and sad at once. It's impossible not to weep at the tragic ending. I want Paulette to see the beautiful cemetery Michel has created for her. I hoped the story ends like the part on the blank page the boy reads to the girl, that they both finally find each other again. I think this is not a movie for children, for the ending is too cruel.