The Wild YearsVentura Durall - 70'
The three protagonists play, eat and argue together. In this, at least, they are no different from other boys their age. But they are different in one crucial way, because nine-year-old Daniel and Habtom and Yohannes, both aged 12, live on the street, sleeping in an abandoned car on the side of the road. Without money or any form of adult support, they struggle to survive in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. And there are around 270,000 other street kids like them.
The film records the three boys' daily lives without being overly sentimental. We see how they live, smoke a joint together and solve conflicts with other street children. These scenes are interspersed with interviews in which they discuss their situation in a relaxed and astonishingly adult tone. What prompted them to live on the street? Is life there really so much better than at home? When the boys have had enough of the vicious conflicts between young gangs, they decide to go on a journey, back to the families they left behind. A picture gradually emerges of three boys trying with all their might to be adults, when in the end they're just kids. But they are kids living in a cruelly tough world.