The Class

I finally got to see “The Class” (“Entre les murs”, info via IMDB here) and have to say, I really loved this film. You really feel like you’re watching something halfway between a documentary and a narrative, its so incredibly subtle and you’re so incredibly close to it…

It really is the kids in this film that are amazing, though no disrespect to François Bégaudeau (also the writer) as the class teacher François Marin he’s excellent, but the kids are simply fascinating to watch.

As an adult, I think I really empathized with the teacher; you feel his battle with these kids, both academically and socially (or behaviourally), as they’d rather talk and muck about over his attempts of engaging them. The fact that he’s actually quite a “cool” teacher and often turns a blind-eye to some of their behaviour, in favour of them actually learning something, is possibly lost on most of the kids, though perhaps one or two are aware and appreciative of his efforts.

However, when things get out of hand and he, too, looses his temper and lashes out, albeit verbally, fundamentally its one of the kids that suffers as a result, something that he, Mr Marin, knows is wrong, tries to rectify, but its too late…

And that’s when you remember that no matter how rude the kids are, (and they are bloody irritating as only teens can be) but that is the point, they’re kids and its not their fault that they live in an inner city area that has many problems. Perhaps its at this point (depending on your own experiences) that your empathy’s may shift a little and you’ll consider ALL that the film has shown you. The very individual backgrounds of these kids, their home lives, their aspirations and desires, their knowledge about the wider world in which we live and their own prejudices, fears, actions and consequences.

I simply cannot recommend this film enough.


One response to “The Class

  1. I think I got two things from this movie. It was exhausting and as a teacher myself I absolutely understand the pressures he was under. I also know that teaching is also about entertaining and imparting knowledge at the same time and sometimes kids out ‘cool’ themselves so much they really don’t know when someone is trying to help them. One thing is for sure, I am so glad I don’t teach in an inner city and admire those who try. Anyone wanting to be a teacher should watch this first.

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