This film is a landmark in modern cinema, launching the French New Wave and turning François Truffaut from a critic into one of the world's most distinguished film makers.
12-year-old Antoine Doinel lives in a tiny flat with his mother and stepfather, who are poor and generally inattentive. A ruthlessly domineering teacher makes life at school more unbearable than at home. His only escape from the shackles of everyday life is to bunk off school with his one friend, go to the fairground, or visit the cinema. His problems deepen as frustration, desperation, and loneliness lead to his expulsion from school and subsequent running away from home.