Socialist Worker

The Class

by Nick Grant
Issue No. 2140

A scene from The Class

A scene from The Class

The Class portrays a year in the life of a Parisian secondary school.

Francois Marin’s students challenge his skills as a French literature teacher.

It appears as a quite shocking indictment of how poor French education is.

The teacher is a vain liberal who wouldn’t last five minutes in most schools.

He and a male pupil clash physically. The student is expelled, but it was the teacher who deserved to go.

The director is at pains to suggest that he had not set out to portray heroic teachers in a model school, and that his primary focus was on the hard done-by kids.

But the styles he uses are tightly associated with realism. You feel sorry that the students have to put up with such crap teaching.

This film was up for an Oscar, luckily it didn’t win.

The Class
Directed by Laurent Cantet
In cinemas now

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Article information

Tue 24 Feb 2009, 18:21 GMT
Issue No. 2140
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