A ten-year-old boy feels unwanted when his mother places him in a home for wayward children. He goes to a foster home where a family of workers finds him to be too much for them. When the unruly child discovers the family plans to give up on him, he kills their daughter’s cat in retaliation. He is sent to another home where he is cared for by an elderly couple. The boy takes to the wife’s elderly mother, who reaches out to the disturbed boy. His deliberate disobedience lessens somewhat in his new environment, but he is arrested after throwing bolts at cars from a bridge. The boy tries to overcome his mother’s rejection and struggles to boost his self-image in this childhood drama.
User Reviews: Loyal viewers of French cinema would agree if one were to claim that to a very large extent film directors in France tend to take their inspirations from events which have had significant impact on their lives. This is also the case with two directors associated with this film namely Maurice Pialat and François Truffaut who experienced troubled times during their individual childhoods. In Maurice Pialat’s Naked Childhood / L’Enfance Nue, the viewers get a first hand view of the tough times faced by some French parents who raise adopted children. As far as the ‘nakedness’ of the film’s title is concerned, it has a lot to do with the brutal, direct and frank portrayal of one adopted boy who is rejected by all and sundry due to his bad behavior and mood swings. Maurice Pialat has avoided any kind of sentimentality as his film is for both parents and children. The focus is more on recognizing a child as an individual, a type of human being who deserves to be understood. Although the major focus in this film is about a ‘difficult’ child, a kind of emotional balance is created as its story has been told from the point of view of a second adopted child and other adults who have become a part of these boys’ lives.