Vivianne Barry

This year, we pay homage to Albert Lamorisse (1922-1970), acclaimed French film director, known and remembered for short and mid-length films that marked the childhood of many people during the fifties and sixties. We present two unforgettable works of his authorship: The Red Balloon (1956) and White Mane (1953), both starring his son, Pascal Lamorisse.

The Red Balloon deserves a prominent place. Few works connect us so deeply with our inner child. With no dialogue, it portrays a young boy’s relationship with his colorful balloon, which he finds in the street of a gray and indifferent post-war city. This stubborn and dissident balloon provokes people left and right, and becomes his best friend along the way. The cold, adult vision of the world contrasts with the joy, lightness and innocence of a child and his balloon.

In White Mane, a young peasant meets a wild horse, one of many in the south of France. Adults want desperately to tame them, to make them work with cattle. Only the child understands it, can release it and is willing to run away with it to that country where children and horses can be friends.

Both films represent a call to change, to liberation, to the pursuit of dreams. Metaphysical visions that invite us to consider the meaning of happiness and wonder, and think about the lack of both in adult life.

More than 60 years have passed and these works are still valid. Every time we see them again, we find new details and poetic subtleties. These are powerful images that, even though fictitious, fill us with excitement and childlike wonder.