The Class 2008

Entre les murs (English: The Class; lit. Between the Walls) is a 2008 film directed by Laurent Cantet, based on the 2006 novel of the same name by François Bégaudeau.

The film received the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, making it the first French film in 21 years to do so. The last one was Sous le soleil de Satan by Maurice Pialat. The novel is a semi-autobiographical account of Bégaudeau’s experiences as a literature teacher in an inner city middle school in Paris. The film stars François Bégaudeau in the role of the teacher.

Plot: François and his fellow teachers prepare for a new year at a high school in a tough neighborhood. Armed with the best intentions, they brace themselves to not let discouragement stop them from trying to give the best education to their students. Cultures and attitudes often clash in the classroom, a microcosm of contemporary France. As amusing and inspiring as the teenaged students can be, their difficult behavior can still jeopardize any teacher’s enthusiasm for the low-paying job. François insists on an atmosphere of respect and diligence. Neither stuffy nor severe, his extravagant frankness often takes the students by surprise. But his classroom ethics are put to the test when his students begin to challenge his methods…
The film appeared on many critics’ top ten lists of the best films of 2008.

Watch The Class 2008 Trailer