Friday, July 9, 2010

The Class

So I am on a Palme d'Or run.

The Class is an unpretentious, documentary-like, and focused film that touches on so many important issues--race, socioeconomics, sexual orientation, the education system, parenting, and immigration. Like other Palme d'Or films, The Class is just as thought-provoking.

The film is actually quite uneasy to watch for me. Growing up, I went to public schools. From elementary school all the way till high school, most students (probably 95%) behaved very well. We got our work done, respected our instructors, and respected other students. The students in The Class is nothing like that. In the film "insolent" is used to describe the students a lot. But at the same time, you can tell some of these students are brilliant in the conventional way and perhaps in unconventional ways as well. The problem is that not everyone is going to grow up to be philosophers, professors, lawyers, or doctors. Some are to become musicians, police men and women, athletes, or farmers who still use their brains for their trade. Each student in the film has something special to offer and be discovered.

The camera takes on a very tightly focused mise en scene. Most frames are filled with only the characters' faces. We don't get to see a full picture of the classrooms until the end and the camera never leaves the school. The way the film is shot really focuses your attention on issues at hand and the characters. The Class is an unconventional and universal film that brings our attention to problems in our society.

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