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The Class


Souleymane, a young French-African student in The Class, reveals his tattoo

Character & Identity

The Class is a film that explores identity from a variety of perspectives. Amongst the two easily identifiable character groups – students and teachers – a multitude of sub-groups are established. Identity can be defined by the groups which individuals belong to: their school, class or profession; their nationality, ethnicity or religion; sporting allegiances, dress code, gender – the list goes on. Identity is constructed in the film through action and interaction, with the early scenes enabling the audience to recognise the key players and their roles. As this is an improvised drama, characterisation is partly drawn from life but at the same time, all the actors are playing ‘versions’ of themselves.

General questions

  1. How are different identities asserted and acknowledged– in this film? In educational establishments in the UK and abroad? In society at large?
  2. How important do you consider the expression of individual identity, and to what extent is this possible or desirable within an educational context, where the emphasis is often on conformity?
  3. To what extent are groups with similar interests (such as the student body, or the teaching staff) united or divided by significant events – within the context of the film, or within the compass of your own experience?

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