The Class
Filmfest 2008

Laurent Cantet's wildly diverse oeuvre takes another turn with this absorbing improvised docu-drama revolving around teacher-pupil relationships in a school classroom and shot using real teachers and students from a Paris school over the course of a school year. The film focuses tightly on the dynamics and concerns of the classroom, never straying into details of the lives of kids or adults outside. Yet even though it takes place entirely "entre les murs", it offers a rich microcosm of today's multi-ethnic French population and fascinating insights into the complicated dilemmas and misunderstandings which teaching – and indeed learning – can entail. Cantet refuses to judge the behaviour of any of the teachers or students here, presenting the classroom situations objectively with all the ethical and social baggage they entail. The technique is never less than enthralling and The Class is as fluid and thought-provoking as contemporary realist cinema can get. Screen International

tags: Feature film

Cast: François Bégaudeau, Esmeralda Ouertani, Rachel Regulier, Franck Keïta


Director: Laurent Cantet