I REALLY enjoyed this movie however I could not establish why until I read the reading. As I was watching the movie, I felt it was particularly dry, yet intriguing at the same time. Was it the setting in Paris? The culture shock of 1950’s punishment techniques? Absolutely not.. I was intrigued because Truffaut predicted the future with arguably one of todays most controversial medical/mental conditions.
Ken Robinson gives a lengthy TED talk about ADHD, the conspiracy that this condition does not exist, and the “Invention” of this condition in recent years. While I do not agree with his ideology that ADHD does not exist, I do believe that this condition is not a mental disability, but an advantage.
Antoine exhibits all the characteristics of ADHD, however in 1958 there was no term for ADHD. Instead of the understanding that people with this condition have a different mental wiring, it is accepted that these people are “troubled” and should be put into mental healthcare. Sadly, this practice still happens today to a certain extent.
Clearly Antoine has a mental capacity that surpasses all other characters in 400 Blows, yet nobody gives him a chance to prove his intellectual capability. Unfortunately this is a prediction for a practice that is widely accepted fifty-five years later.