End Of The Week Shorts 6.2 extract: The Red Balloon (1956)
The Red Balloon is one of the most beautiful films about childhood ever made. It follows a young boy who finds a magical balloon that, I suppose, befriends and then chooses to follow him everywhere.
The poignancy of this short is embedded in the image of the balloon - which for some reason holds something quite special within it. As a symbol of childhood a balloon seems to signify intermittent joy and levity that everyone knows will soon burst or float away. And in such, it seems a good measure for getting to know a young boy. Most will fight over a balloon, try to pop, batter or destroy it. But, a few will look after and cherish it. And it's this paradigm that this narrative explores, one that holds so much power because of its emotionally raw and simple depiction of human bonds that we could easily see mapped out onto many different contexts.