The Class (entre les murs)
Cert: 15 Year: 2008 Length: 128 mins Language: French
Cinema Handout (PDF 82KB)
Score: 77.6% Attendance: 78
Cannes 2008 Palme d’Or winner, Laurent Cantet returns to the contemporary social and work-related issues of his earlier features (Ressources humaines, L’Emploi du temps). The film’s story, based on a novel by François Bégaudeau (who also plays the fictionalised version of himself) recounts his experiences as a teacher who tries to impart French language and life lessons to a school class of 14-year-olds during one school year. The lively characters in this class, reflecting the mixed ethnicity of Paris’s twentieth arrondissement, and teacher François’s connection with them, their parents and his colleagues, tie in themes of civil unrest and French republicanism as an ideal, but above all director and actor/author allow the children to talk – which is utterly fascinating.
Place The Class on your must-see list and keep it there until you do.
ANDREW SARRIS, NEW YORK OBSERVER
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