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The Class


Teacher François stands with crossed arms at the front of The Class, framed by his students' raised hands

Debate & Conflict

In the classroom portrayed in this film, the emphasis is on informed discussion where no subject is taboo - provided it is properly defended. Yet the line between discussion and argument is a fine one. François treats his pupils like adults but in some instances, the exchange proves too much and discussions quickly become heated. But to what extent is this approach a purposeful preparation for life beyond the school environment? And if the classroom in the film is a microcosm of society at large, what significance do these exchanges take on?

General questions

  1. During the course of the film, explore the way tensions develop and subside:
    - amongst the students themselves;
    - between individual students and their teacher François;
    - between François and the class as a whole.
    Consider how these shifting relationships relate to your own experiences of education.
  2. Souleymane, often reluctant to participate in lessons, bares a tattoo that reads: ‘If your words are less important than silence, keep quiet’. In what ways could this be interpreted? How significant does this seem within the context of the film?
  3. Souleymane: ‘It’s revenge’
    François: ‘We’re not on the streets’

    To what extent do conflicts in the classroom film relate to personality? What other factors are at play in these instances?

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