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Maynooth Film for All: The Class

The Class 448x336

Screening: The Class – Entre Les Murs
When: Wednesday 13th January 2010
Where: JHL2 John Hume Building, North Campus, NUI Maynooth
Time: 7.45pm


Maynooth Film for All: Film Club will screen the Oscar nominated French film The Class (Entre Les Murs) on Wednesday 13th January at 7.45pm in JHL2 NUI Maynooth.
The idealistic young teacher reaching out to a troubled class of underprivileged kids - it should be the dullest movie cliche imaginable. Yet French director Laurent Cantet does something miraculous with it in this fresh piece of humanist, realist, optimist cinema, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2008.
The Class is based on an autobiographical novel by author and former teacher François Bégaudeau, about working at a tough multi-ethnic school in a Parisian suburb. Remarkably, Bégaudeau plays himself, or a version of himself; he does it very well, although as teaching is all about putting on a performance commanding enough to subdue the toughest audiences, maybe that shouldn't surprise us. His class of 14 to 15 year old kids in the film is made up of non-professionals, and their unobtrusively superb and authentic classroom scenes have evidently been devised through improvisation.
This all gives The Class a near-documentary feel, making it a unique interweaving of fiction and reality, as when some real-life parents of the kids are also brought into the story.
Bégaudeau is François Marin, a slim, boyish thirty something teacher of French language and literature. We encounter him in the classroom, the staff-room and in the schoolyard, but never at home. We never find out about his home life or his personal life, though one pupil offers a cheeky speculation, which is to be subtly important. His sole moment of privacy is glimpsed at the very beginning of the film: having a coffee before gearing himself up for the fray.
It’s a complex picture, and although the film puts the spotlight on a disciplinary appeals procedure unduly weighted towards the punitive, there are certainly no easy answers on display — just burning compassion, mercurial humour and a fundamental recognition that these kids are our future.
Movies are screened in JHL2 lecture hall in the John Hume building, North Campus, NUIM. The programme starts at 7.45pm with an introduction from Dr Denis Condon NUIM. The featured film then begins at 8.00pm.

Membership to Maynooth Film for All: Film Club is open to all over 18yrs. and costs €20.00 for the rest of the season. There is no joining fee for students just pay per view of €2.00 per night. Membership and subscriptions available on the night or drop into Maynooth Community Library, Tel: 01 6285530. For full programme details click here. 

Maynooth Film for All: Film Club is supported by Kildare County Council Library & Arts Service and The School of English, Media and Theatre Studies NUIM.

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