By Tom Charity from LOVEFiLM
This drama about a french school class is so realistic it feels like a documentary.
Most helpful review
TediousBy Dom1000 (3 reviews) from London , 28 Feb 2009
[Highly rated reviewer]Perhaps as I work in ethnically mixed inner-city school and am generally a lover of French cinema I expected too much from 'The Class'. Unfortunately I could only stand the film for one hour and left the cinema. So therefore my review only relates to that part of the film.
Set in a tough inner-city school the film focuses mainly on half a dozen students and their interaction with a certain teacher. Almost from the beginning you can see the tension and frustration between this well meaning teacher trying to instill knowledge into students who do not want to learn or are unable to focus sufficiently on the lesson due to complex social and background factors. The culture of the school on the whole seemed to be a dont care attitude (like that what was common in schools in Britain 30 years ago). This was epitomised by a staff meeting where much time was devoted to concern about the price of coffee from the machine than the welfare and academic achievements of pupils in their care.
The students were generally from ethnic minorities who settled in France and the dialogue between them and the teachers are generally set around scoring points and smart comments. This would have been tolerable if the why question was answered. If the film showed more of the students home life, their interaction between their brothers and sisters and their background one would have found oneself warming to them and understand the pupils challenge more. This would have been a good opportunity to show other sides to the students characters; their compassion, their vulnerabilities, their whit, their aspirations. Unlike most French films I have seen I found The Class tedious, frustrating and boring.
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A documentary about school as a melting potBy prach (11 reviews) , 26 Apr 2012The Class (Entre les Murs) makes us reflect on questions about discipline, authority, methods of learning, and ultimately the purpose of education. These questions are presented within the limits of the fact that teachers are ordinary people, with the usual flaws of ordinary human beings. Anyone who's thinking of being a teacher should watch this.
Educating ParisBy a customer , 03 Mar 2012I'm sure this was a great and ground-breaking film at the time, but if you've seen Channel 4's 'Educating Essex', this may now seem a bit contrived. It follows the same format, but it's hard to forget that these people are 'acting'. As a result, Channel 4's series had far more humanity about it - it showed real teachers, dealing with real problems, and doing so with grace and integrity. This film delivers the same message, but to me it can't escape from the fact that it is, in fact, a construct.
Disturbing because it's so close to the markBy Onlyests (60 reviews) , 16 Feb 2012A very good film, acted out well by many youngsters. It shows how the education system has spiraled down to a point where there is no joy in teaching or learning. A very good, but depressing watch.
OK French Docu-DramaBy GaryI (785 reviews) from March, Cambs , 06 Dec 2011Interesting French Docu-drama about the everyday life of a French teacher in a inner-city school. From an English perspective its also interesting to see the similarities and differences from the UK school system.
But as a film it adopts the perspective you'll expect, such as unruly, rebellious, rude teenagers and a teacher restrained to act as he wishes. Sadly the film becomes boring.
Do not miss this film!!By redfoxylady (10 reviews) from Hertford , 06 Aug 2011I expected this to be a glib, sanctimonious effort, but could not have been more wrong. The performances are wholly convincing, and the realism of the film is enhanced by the imperfections of the idealistic teacher. At first you may be irritated and dismayed by what appears to be a class of insolent low-lifes from the banlieus. However, as the film develops you come to differentiate them and appreciate the particular charms each one has beneath the tough exterior. Amazingly, these pupils are not actors, but real secondary school students from underprivileged immigrant backgrounds. Equally rich are the characters of the teaching staff. The film does not have any simplistic solutions, and there is a tragic inevitability to the outcome. Don't miss this film!
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