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Entre les murs
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Synopsis for
The Class (2008) More at IMDbPro »Entre les murs (original title)

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Franois and his fellow teachers prepare for a new year at a high school in a tough neighborhood. Armed with the best intentions, they brace themselves to not let discouragement stop them from trying to give the best education to their students. Cultures and attitudes often clash in the classroom, a microcosm of contemporary France. As amusing and inspiring as the teenaged students can be, their difficult behavior can still jeopardize any teacher's enthusiasm for the low-paying job. Franois insists on an atmosphere of respect and diligence. Neither stuffy nor severe, his extravagant frankness often takes the students by surprise. But his classroom ethics are put to the test when his students begin to challenge his methods... -Jowsie

Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, master French director Laurent Cantet's THE CLASS is an absorbing journey into a multicultural high school in Paris over the course of a school year. Franois Begaudeau--an actual teacher and the author upon whose work the film was based--is utterly convincing as Franois, an openminded teacher in charge of a classroom of youngsters from a wide variety of backgrounds. Of course, the mere fact that he's older and in a position of authority causes his students to challenge him on many occasions. Franois is stuck in the middle. In the teacher conferences, he butts heads with the harsher adults who don't appear to have any sympathy for their students. In class, his attempts to be lenient and understanding are somehow misinterpreted and he finds himself arguing with the kids that he so clearly wants to help. As the school year progresses, tensions rise, until Franois finds himself in a position he never imagined he'd be in. Unlike his more formally written early films like HUMAN RESOURCES and TIME OUT, Cantet proves that he has an ability to work in a more improvisational manner. Shooting on HD and working with a cast of young non-actors, he allows THE CLASS to breathe, resulting in a fictional drama that has the spirit and energy of a documentary. His startlingly assured ensemble brings the new, culturally diverse France of the early 21st century to striking life. [D-Man2010]

Franois is a tough but fair teacher working in one of France's toughest schools, and his honest demeanor in the classroom has made him a great success with the students. But this year things are different, because when the students begin to challenge his methods Franois will find his classroom ethics put to the ultimate test. Franois Bgaudeau stars in director Laurent Cantet's entry into the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. [D-Man2010]

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