At a Montréal public grade school, an Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom. While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is revealed.
Teacher François Marin and his colleagues are preparing for another school year teaching at a racially mixed inner city high school in Paris. The teachers talk to each other about their prospective students, both the good and the bad. The teachers collectively want to inspire their students, but each teacher is an individual who will do things in his or her own way to achieve the results they desire. They also have differing viewpoints on the students themselves, and how best to praise and discipline them. The administration of the school tries to be as fair as possible, which includes having student representatives sit on the student evaluation committee. Marin's class this year of fourteen and fifteen year olds is no different than previous years, although the names and faces have changed. Marin tries to get through to his students, sometimes with success and sometimes resulting in utter failure. Even Marin has his breaking point, which may result in him doing things he would ...Written by
I really enjoyed this film; however, I will disclose I thought about 10 minutes could be shaved off as a whole. The documentary style feel to the film aided not only the intimacy of looking into the classroom, but also into the lives of the students and teachers. It was refreshing to see "the human" side of a teacher portrayed--one that is fallible, not always saying the right thing despite trying to do the right thing...which is often what all people struggle with. Also, I liked that the film focused primarily on the episodes within the school rather than drifting into a melodramatic cliché of teenage angst or stereotypical conflicts. The Class is a nice balance of glimpsing into the world of teachers and their students.
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