Saturday, February 14, 2009

Film Review: The Class

by Eric Green

"In Class" Can be A Teaching Event for U.S. Schools

This French film, "The Class" has been nominated as one of the 5 best Foreign Films for 2009 by the Academy Awards Oscars. There is stiff competition at the Oscars for this category: "Waltz with Bashir," An Israeli anti-war film, and "Baader Minhof Complex" a German film.

This is not your regular predictable high school film. In this film where 15 year old high school students from many backgrounds are followed through one year of school. Its could have been called, "A Year in the Life."

Most of the students are from the area of Paris in which they were born. But, given the migration of peoples' these days, in this class you have students from China, the Caribbean, African—Mali and Morocco.

As the preliminary notices said and confirmed by the credits at the end most of the students played themselves; as well as the teachers.

The film involved filmgoers in the students interrelationships, but also, the relationships between the teachers, not their romantic drama as too many films do, but in their relationships to the students.

The method of deal with disciplining of students should be of interest to any students and administrators in the U.S.

This is the kind of film that could and should be used by teachers in the U.S. with their high school students. It shows that the problems of teenagers, high school student are truly universal. This is a real teaching and learning film.

The film is shot with three high definition video cameras, which brings you closer into the classroom.

Laurent Canet directed the film, which won the Palm d'Or at Cannes.

Francios Begaudeau played Francios the teacher and Franck Keita played Souleymane the student from Mali. These two and all the other students were incredibly realistic in their performances. This also goes for the teacher and administration of the school.

This film is a must.