L'Argent de Poche

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I'd recently watched a film in my French class, Truffaut's "L'Argent de Poche"-which can be directly translated to "Small Change" or "Pocket Change". The film tells a story of one French town and its inhabitants through the eyes of a few children.

In Truffaut’s film, children are seen as nuisances; they are disrespected and neglected throughout the movie.

 For example, Gregory’s mother leaves him alone in the apartment to go look for her wallet, and the toddler soon climbs out of the window and falls down a multiple-story height. Gregory’s mom didn’t bother to check if the environment she’d be leaving her son was safe—if she had done this, she could’ve seen the open window and closed it. She didn’t do anything to harm her son directly, but the carelessness with which she treats him shows that she cares more about her lost wallet than the fact that she will be leaving her son all by himself.  A parent really should put their children before their money—money is replaceable, and a child is not.

In addition, the police chief and his wife are exceptionally intolerant of their daughter Sylvie, punishing her for wanting to bring her toy to the restaurant by leaving her in the house instead of taking her with them. Children shouldn’t be punished (and definitely not so severely) for simply being a child; she shouldn’t have been treated so harshly. It’s simply ridiculous that her parents didn’t just let her bring her own bag to the restaurant—sure, it may have been ugly; but it’d make Sylvie happy, and that’s more important than keeping a certain image in society.

Lastly, Julien LeClou had been beaten and kicked out of the house on several occasions throughout the movie. Obviously, Julien’s home life had been affecting his personality and character in other aspects of his life. He steals, and maybe that’s what makes him forget about his beatings, or maybe even feel more powerful.

 At the end of the film, Monsieur Richet talks about his own faith in children, and how important it is that they are respected and loved, because children are the future. I cannot express how much I agree with this.