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Film / The Class

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A 2008 French film ("Entre les Murs" in the original, meaning "Between the Walls"). The character of the protagonist is largely based on the experiences of the French and literature teacher François Bégaudeau in a school in an arrondissement of Paris. It shows his struggles with the often difficult but also very likeable and interesting kids. Bégaudeau himself plays the role of the teacher M. Marin. It's also almost like watching a documentary, it feels as if you're actually peeking into the classroom.

The film won the Palme d'Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, as well as some other awards and making it into many top 10 of 2008 lists.


This film includes examples of:

  • Asian and Nerdy: Wei
  • Berserk Button: Esmeralda remains a distant snarker for most of the class until Francois calls her a skank.
  • Big Game: Averted. Unlike many films about education (especially in the US), there is no high-stakes test (Stand and Deliver), dance contest (Take the Lead), karate tournament (The Karate Kid), or other goal for the students to work toward under their teacher's wise guidance in order to overcome their humble origins and society's prejudices. Instead, it's just another school year.
  • Determinator: Francois is determined not only to educate his students, but to discover what gets his students to tick and from that want to learn more from their class.
  • Education Mama: Inverted. Wei's parents are worried that he pushes himself too hard in his schoolwork
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  • Exact Words: Francois tries to backpedal out of the fact that he lost his temper and called two of his students "skanks" by claiming he only said their actions made them look like skanks. Nobody cares.
  • Mighty Whitey: Averted (see also Save Our Students below).
  • Mistaken for Gay: Francois finds out some of his students think he's gay. He takes it pretty calmly however, and just prods those who think so by asking them why they'd have a problem with it if he is. It's not enough to tame his students for good, but enough to shut the rumors up.
  • The Quiet One: Henriette
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Esmeralda and her friend Khoumba to an extent.
  • Save Our Students: A deconstruction. For once, the white teacher isn't able to single-handly save his minority students and Souleymane is expelled.
  • School Is for Losers: Kind of the attitude of Soulyemane and his friends in the beginning.
  • School Study Media: In-universe the pupils have to read The Diary of a Young Girl. The film itself is also studied in Real Life classrooms.
  • World of Snark


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