The director describes the inner life of a young boy with a series of poignant and moving images that often get lost as we grow older. The family is beautifully drawn, and yet it is as though we are watching ghosts filtered through the young boy's dream-like existence. There is a beautiful scene, very short, where the boy looks from the house window and sees his brother, stripped to the waist, building a wall. Through brilliant direction and acting we know that the boy is filled with love and admiration for his brother, admiration for him as a beautiful man and love for him as his brother, as well as an almost primitive knowledge that things pass, that this moment will be gone. In the heightened, emotional life of the child where everything is highly significant, there is a poignant gap between the strange adult world and this precious small moment.
In a way this film describes how the limited view of the child, confined by the street, school, his friend, makes a whole universe in itself that is larger than the world of the adults around him, despite their mystique, their perceived freedom. At the end of the film the boy and his friend see themselves as part of the mysteries of the universe. They can make the natural leap from the small tragedies of their childhood world and the warm confines of a bustling working class household to the stars and planets that an inspired teacher has introduced them to. They can make that link. A masterpiece.