Leave Those Kids Alone

Since his 1999 directorial debut, Ressources Humaines(Human Resources), a heartfelt portrayal of class divisions in contemporary France, Laurent Cantet has been making the kind of hyper-realistic, character-driven films that festivals often overlook in favor of edgier exercises in style. Well, no longer. Cantet’s newest film, Entre les Murs (The Class), won the Palm D’Or, AKA the European Oscar for best film, at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Cantet takes the “classroom drama” genre head-on in telling the story of François Marin (played by real-life teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau), a young, ambitious instructor in a tough school. Sound a little too familiar? If you’re expecting Dangerous Minds, you’ve come to the wrong place. As the son of schoolteachers, Cantet knows what he’s talking about. The Baltimore Sun says the movie is “unlike any English or American film about teaching ever made.” Taken together with other recent education masterpieces — 2006’s Half-Nelson and season four of The WireEntre les Murs represents a new artistic understanding of the complexities of secondary education.
Fri., May 22, 8:30 p.m.; Sat., May 23, 8:30 p.m., 2009

 
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