Truffaut, Antoine, and The 400 Blows

From the moment the viewer first meets Antoine Doinel in a crowded French classroom full of boys, it’s clear the type of student he is: relentlessly bothersome, careless, and consciously incompetent. He’s a fearless clown in desperate need of attention. As time goes on, the viewer learns more and more about why this is. Catching a glimpse of his social life and the struggles he faces at home, it’s not hard to see why he acts the way he does. His mom and step-dad neglect him, he’s struggling to keep up in school, his teacher’s a jerk, and he’d much rather run away than face these things.

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