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The Wild Child

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Cast
Francois Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Cargol, Francoise Seigner
Released
1970
Philippe Pinel | snuff
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Blog entry

The wild boy makes repetitive movements. (0:03, 0:24)

Dr. Jean Itard, the doctor at the National Institution for Deaf Mutes: "If I could bring this child to Paris, I could examine him and be able to establish the degree of intelligence and the nature of ideas in an adolescent deprived since childhood of all education because he has lived apart from any individuals of his species." (0:09)

Man: ”Professor Pinel and Dr. Itard, the wild boy is here.”
Pinel: "Don't be nervous." (0:16)

Sign: "National Institute for Deaf Mutes" (0:17)

Pinel tells Itard, referring to the wild child, "However, he doesn’t talk." (0:21)

Pinel tells Itard, "I think he's an idiot." (0:26)

Pinel tells Itard, "I can see no difference between him and the poor idiots in my charge at Bicêtre"
Itard: ”We can't send him to Bicêtre.”
Pinel: ”It's no good for him, nor for our deaf-mute children.”
Itard: ”I agree that he can't stay here, but we can't send him to Bicêtre. I don't think he's an idiot.” (0:26)

Itard: "I've gotten custody of the child."
”... today I managed to fill his nostrils with snuff without his sneezing.” (0:28)

Itard: "He leans one side to the other and shows a lively anxiety when the horses slacken their pace before stopping." (0:35)

Itard tells his housekeeper Madame Guérin, referring to Victor, "That proves his memory can be trained." (0:52)

Itard: "I want to avoid Victor making each arrangement by memory, and I achieve this by constantly changing the drawings around." (0:54)

Itard tells Victor, "You have invented a device which allows you to forgo memory and discernment, but I don't mind. It is a tribute to your intelligence." (0:58)

Itard tells Guerin, "It worries me that his tantrums are becoming more frequent." (0:59)

Itard: "Citizen Pinel has persuaded the administration that the idiot children he observed at Bicêtre hospital share traits with the Wild Boy of Aveyron."
”I remain worried.” (1:02)

Itard: "Victor's rages often stop us in the midst of our work... I fear all such treatment will be useless." (1:04)

Itard: "... each day brings proof of his intelligence." (1:13)

Itard: "He furnished constant proof of attention and memory." (1:21)

Itard's approach appears to utilize elements of behavior therapy.

Reference in The Squid and the Whale