What You Need To Know:
(H, LL, VV, S, N, A, PC, M) Humanist worldview with overtones of political correctness regarding juvenile delinquents; 17 obscenities, 1 profanity & occasional vulgarities throughout; several moderately violent beatings; prostitution & fornication implied; one scene of rear male nudity & partial female nudity; alcoholism; ridicule of adults, authority figures & police.
SON OF THE SHARK, a film based on a true story, won the Critics Prize at the 1993 Venice International Film Festival. Set in a seaport in Northern France, it tells the lurid tale of two brothers, about 11 or 12 years of age, who are classic juvenile delinquents. Martin and Simon, abandoned by their mother and thrown out by their father, an alcoholic who cannot control them, live in abandoned buildings on the beach. They survive by burglary and theft coupled with savage acts of vandalism and sadistic pranks. They are often captured by the police, who can do nothing with them except send them to halfway houses, they always escape, vandalizing and stealing, until they are captured again and escape. Though the film is an interesting study of delinquency, it never satisfactorily resolves the problem it depicts.
SON OF THE SHARK is a technically well done film. The two boys who play Martin and Simon possess a charming, cherub-like appearance which makes their behavior appear even more frightening. The film provides some food for thought about the lives of homeless juveniles who live in a world without hope, a world of fantasy in which their only escape is death. SON OF THE SHARK is another film that deserves to be missed, for it presents only inadequate, politically correct solutions to the serious problems that plague humanity.