In the panic over the German advance into France, many fled Paris in June 1940. Whereas Bon Voyage, which was recently exhibited in the United States, features the elites traveling to Bordeaux by train, Strayed (Les égarés) instead focuses on the middle class, which snakes out of Paris on foot or in vehicles that run out of gas, clogging the road. In particular, Odile (played by Emmanuelle Béart), a schoolteacher, proceeds in a car with her thirteen-year-old son Philippe (played by Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) and seven-year-old daughter Cathy (played by Clémence Meyer). When German airplanes spot the slow procession of refugees, they dive over and drop bombs; the family then heads for the forest for protection, but Odile’s car is blown up. Coincidentally, seventeen-year-old Yvan (played by Gaspard Ulliel) takes the same route. When Odile tells Yvan that he is an “idiot,” he continues deeper into the forest. Realizing that Yvan has survival skills that his mother lacks, Philippe chases after him and begs him to accompany them; after he gives Yvan his father’s precious watch, Yvan agrees to look after the family. He locates game for food and ultimately an abandoned villa, where he and the family stay after he secretly cuts the telephone line so that Odile, who foolishly wants to call the police, will not betray their whereabouts. Odile continues to be disrespectful to Yvan, for example hiding a gun and grenade that he retrieved from the dead body of a German soldier which she promises to return to him if he leaves them, as she fears that she will lose her authority over her children as the adult in charge. In time, however, Odile learns to appreciate the survival skills of Yvan, and they become much closer when she teaches him to read. However, she knows very little about him. When she asks him about his parents, Yvan replies that they died in an early battle in the war. She does not ask about his family name, presumably to keep her distance from him. One day, nevertheless, her distance from him totally breaks down, and the two have sex, though in a manner that she finds strange. After putting his tongue to her anus, he performs anal intercourse. When she asks why, he responds that that is “all he knows.” She is too naïve to realize that he has given an unmistakable clue that he previously had sex with men and thus must have been in a reformatory of some sort. Finally, the war is over, and the new French regime takes over. All four are discovered, rounded up, and relocated in a refugee camp, with unhappy consequences for all. Odile finally realizes who Yvan is, but still lacks the decency to pretend that he is her son. Directed by André Téchiné, the film is based on the novel Le garçon aux yeux gris, by Gilles Perrault.  MH

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