The Defenceless (1939)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 73 min.  |   Countries - Norway  |  
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Norwegian director Leif Sindig addresses the practice of placing orphans and other children in need with farm families in this adaptation of a book by author Gabriel Scott. Though to many the efforts of the government in helping these children find a home would seem entirely benevolent, the harsh reality of the situation is that many of these children ended up toiling away in the fields and forced into a heartbreaking life of what could only be described as slave labor. Upon realizing that his only hope for survival is escaping from his prostitute mother, a young boy named Albert flees from home to seek out a better life in a new home. Later, when Albert winds up working on a farm alongside other children, the relationships he shares with his peers offers telling insight into a social problem that plagued Norway for many years.