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The Class


This behind-the-scenes still shows director Laurent Cantet and actor/writer François Bégaudeau discussing a scene.

Film Style

The Class, filmed in a school setting using untrained actors and improvisation techniques, represents a blend of reality and drama. Each sequence within the film needs to work as a part of the whole without seeming artificial; the director and editors must bring the film together through narrative, characterisation, camerawork, editing and all the other aspects of filmmaking needed to make a film coherent. The film’s French title, Entre les Murs (Between the Walls, from the book of the same title), clearly establishes the action within a particular environment – but it becomes clear that what takes place between these walls has a much greater resonance.

General questions

  1. To what extent can documentary filmmaking capture the true nature of any situation or environment? Consider any examples of the genre that you know of, thinking about their purpose and construction.
  2. The Class is shot as a ‘docudrama’ – a style of filmmaking that combines features of documentary with familiar aspects of drama. What freedoms or restrictions might you associate with either style of production?
  3. What value can you see in exploring issues to do with education, identity, democracy, society and social cohesion within the context of this film?

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