L’atelier [The Workshop] (2017)

Director: Laurent Cantet
Writer: Robin Campillo, Laurent Cantet
Cast: Marina Foïs, Matthieu Lucci, Florian Beaujean, Mamadou Doumbia, Mélissa Guilbert, Warda Rammach, Julien Souve, Issam Talbi
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 27.10.2018

Olivia (Marina Foïs) is a respected novelist who is participating as a teacher in a summer class for underprivileged kids. The seven participants are supposed to write a story together but one of them, Antoine (Matthieu Lucci) won’t play along. His writing is filled with violence and empathy for the perpetrators of it. His behavior in class is antagonistic, racist and shows him sympathizing with neo-nazis and fascism. Olivia struggles with the situation in a class where most of her students aren’t white. But she’s also intrigued by Antoine’s obvious intelligence and tries to find out more about him.

L’atelier could have been interesting if it had been the film I was hoping to see and not yet another story that asks us to please empathize with the neonazi. Maybe if the film hadn’t been made by white people, it would have been good.

Continue reading

Entre les murs – The Class (2008)

Entre les murs (aka The Class) is a fictional documentary or a fictional account of actual happenings or however you want to see it. Much of it is true, but it didn’t happen. It is based on the semi-autobiographical book by François Bégaudeau, who also played the main character/himself in the movie. The movie got the Palme d’Or in Cannes and is now nominated for best foreign language movie at the Oscars.

The film chronicles a year in one class in a French school. The school’s in the suburbs of Paris [I think], which are famous for their racial difficulties. These are also reflected in the movie, where there’s hardly one student, who was born in France.


Continue reading