Barnens Oe (1981)

Run Time - 108 min.  |   Countries - Sweden  |  
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A young boy named Reine (Tomas Fryk) employs a simple subterfuge to escape going to Children's Island, a nearby summer vacation spot, and instead sneaks off alone to the streets of Stockholm to find answers to the larger questions on life and death. His single mother (Anita Ekstroem) is unaware of her son's truancy and leaves for an extended tryst with her lover (Ingvar Hirdvall), thinking that the 11-year old is safe and taken care of at the island. Reine stays for awhile with two lonely spinsters and once with some street actors, but generally he wanders from one situation to the next, and with his tape recorder he recounts his feelings and the things he has seen. Throughout his experiences, he consistently discovers that adults employ subterfuge just as he has -- only the adults he finds often have either frankly or subliminally sexual encounters in mind. Reine also tests the waters literally, flirting with death by seeing how long he can remain under. As a result of his exploration of the world, he is loathe to grow up and be like all the adults who have tried to take advantage of him. As his innocence fades, Reine's journey ends, leaving many adult viewers to wonder if childhood may not be the better part of life.

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Keywords

against-all-odds, con/scam, escape, innocence, loss-of-innocence, lover, on-the-road, runaway [from home], sex, spinster, vacation