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PAW - BOY OF TWO WORLDS

Denmark, 1960 (MIFF 1961, Programme 2)

Director: Astrid Henning-Jensen

Paw grew up in the jungles of the West Indies — the son of a Danish father and a West Indian mother who died who he was bom. The picture starts when Paw, at the age of twelve, has lost his father and is brought to Denmark, to live in a small village with his father's sister, his only relative. She is a spinster who does not understand the boy's need for a free life

As in all small villages, the inhabitants are hostile to a stranger In their midst and it is difficult for Paw to find friends. When his aunt dies and nobody in the village wants him, he moves in with Anders, a Swedish newcomer. Later it is discovered that Anders is a poacher, and Paw is moved again, this time to a home for delinquent boys. This is too much, so he runs away into the Danish forest, where he lives his own life with the animals, like Robinson Crusoe, until he is found and allowed to live again with his friend Anders. Paw is made a delight by sensitive direction and beautiful photography. There are also delightful touches of humour and an imaginative use of wild life to point and speed the story. The poacher gives a fine performance, which prevents the boy, played most disarmingly by a tweleve-year-old Tarzan, from running away with the film.

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