Monday, September 7, 2009

Entre les murs

I watched this documentary last night, which YouTube describes as:

Teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau plays a version of himself as he negotiates a year with his racially mixed students from a tough Parisian neighborhood.

The movie used actual students as actors. The script is an adaptation of Begaudeau's novel.

from the Cannes review:

Chronicling a year in the life of a junior high school class in a rougher section of Paris, there's something undeniably French about the film: the cultural challenges, the uneasy-yet-unescapable mix of cultures and races in the classroom, the plot's turn on a subtler point of formal French grammar. But at the same time, these kids and their teacher (Francois Begaudeau) are going through a series of challenges and opportunities that will be familiar to anyone who's ever gone to school: The tedium of work, the charged-yet-collegial relationship between student and teacher, the subdivisions in the halls.

It's a pretty brave movie, showing raw interactions between teacher and student in difficult situations, as well as dealing with sensitive issues such as parents' different cultural responses to the discipline of students, achievement and academic struggles.

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