Monday, 27 October 2008
Entre les Murs
In 'Entre les Murs' (between the walls), François Bégaudeau, a French highschool teacher plays himself in a movie based on a book that he wrote about a year of teaching a racially mixed class of 14-year olds in a rough neibhborhood of northern Paris. The students can be clever, lazy, abnoxious, hopeful, in short entertaining. But they can be tiring if a job is not paid well, student attitude can be demotivating, and parents don't usually work with the teachers as their life priorities stem from a completely different set of values.
Begaudeau is not trying to provide a formula to fix France's social problems of its economically challenged class. Instead, he is attempting - with great success I would say - to portray modern Paris which is a bit further away from La Seine, Champs Elysee, La Tour Eiffel, les bistrots dans le Marais, les philosophes du Sorbonne et les coquilles St. Jacques, but still want to be close to Galleries Lafayette...
Besides the focus on Paris' racial, hence cultural, richness, there is a lot of emphasis placed between the relationships of the teacher and his students and the students themselves. Whoever has been a teenager (and can remember that:-) or has a teenage child will definitely find a lot of familiarities with that. What however I find beautiful in this movie is the way that the teacher/author/protagonists mix and matches street French with subjonctif du passe...Superb mastery of the so demanding French language is required and undoubtably Begaudeau has it
The film received le Palm d'Or at Cannes Film Festival. Besides François Bégaudeau who plays himself, so do the students..Everyone in this movie is a real figure. A most interesting project and a must see film