My latest film review on Cinema Takes:
The Class (Entre Les Murs) was up close and personal for me. The scenes in Laurent Cantet’s French language film took me back to the thousands of hours I spent teaching migrant students in very multicultural secondary schools in Australia.
If you’ve ever had much to do with adolescents, it is not hard to empathise with its main character François Marin (François Bégaudeau). He struggles to maintain order and purpose for his class of young teenagers whilst trying to create a flexible and humane classroom.
As indicated by the original French title, Between the Walls, this can be a very claustrophobic experience. His teaching space is tiny and sparse with none of the technological aides of 21st Century education. A visit to a fairly primitive computer lab is a refreshing if infrequent break from chalk, leaky ballpoint pens and exercise books. The walled, concrete playground is more like a prison exercise yard, a too-obvious visual metaphor.