Official | Update : 13.02.18 . 11:18 AM

Competition: "The Class" by Laurent Cantet

AFP

AFP

The Class, the third French film to be presented in Competition for the Palme d’Or, marks director Laurent Cantet's first journey to Cannes. Cantet, director of such socially aware films as Human Resources and Time Out, pursues similar issues with his adaptation of the autobiographical novel by François Bégaudeau, a young French teacher in a tough junior high school. Determined to instruct without breaking his students' spirits, he refuses to coddle them, confronting them with their limitations in order to motivate them. Even if he sometimes takes the risk that things will get out of control…

Laurent Cantet, on how the project started: "Just before making Heading South, I came up with the idea of doing a film about life in a junior high school. Very quickly, the project defined itself to never leave the establishment’s enclosure. At the time, more and more people were speaking about making a “sanctuary” of schools. I wanted to show the opposite, a sounding board, a microcosm of the world, where issues of equality or inequality – in regards to opportunity, work and power, cultural and social integration and exclusion – play out concretely. Of note, I had developed a scene about disciplinary counselling, which I saw as a kind of junior high “black box.” At the time of Heading South’s release, I met François who was presenting his new book, “Entre les murs” (Between the Walls). His discourse was a counterattack to the indictment on today’s schools: for once, a professor was not writing in order to get back at adolescents presented as savages or idiots. I read the book and I immediately had the feeling that it would add to my initial project in two ways: first, the material, the documentary support it needed, and which I set off to create myself by going to spend some time in a junior high school. Secondly, I was inspired by the character of François, by his direct relationship with his students. He summarized and incarnated the different aspects of teachers that I had first imagined. "

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THE CLASS
In Competition – Feature Films

ENTRE LES MURS

Laurent CANTET

FRANCE - 2008

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Competition: "The Class" by Laurent Cantet

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Competition: "The Class" by Laurent Cantet

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