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French Film Festival Concludes with "The Class"

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012

Entre les murs (The Class), the fifth and final film in Westminster College's Tournées Film Festival, will be shown Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Sebastian Mueller Theater of the McKelvey Campus Center.  The event is free and open to the public.

The contemporary film will be subtitled in English.  A discussion will follow the screening.

The 2008 film, directed by Laurent Cantet, won multiple awards, including Best Film (Lumiére Award, ?toile d'Or), Best Foreign Film (Award of the Argentinean Academy, Silver Condor, Image Award, Independent Spirit Award), Palme d'Or (Cannes), and Best Writing - Adaptation (César Award).

In an unusual example of art imitating life, the film is based on the best-selling book by real-life teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau, who also wrote the screenplay and plays a version of himself (François Marin) in the film.  As Marin attempts to teach the French language to his multi-ethnic students in a Parisian public junior high school, he offers both the opportunity and the threat of modern cultural assimilation.  No one is above reproach in this difficult and important film.

The Tournées Festival is hosted by Westminster's Departments of Modern Languages and English in conjunction with the Jake Erhardt International Film Series.  The festival is supported by a grant from the French American Cultural Exchange and support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the French Ministry of Culture (CNC), The Florence Gould Foundation, the Grand Marnier Foundation, and Highbrow Entertainment.

Westminster faculty involved in planning and organizing the festival are: Dr. Andrew Ade, associate professor of English; Dr. Jeffrey Bersett, associate professor and chair of Westminster's Department of Modern Languages; Dr. Leslie Kealhofer, visiting assistant professor of French; and Dr. Deborah Mitchell, professor of English and film studies. 

Contact Kealhofer at (724) 946-6260 or email for additional information.  Click here for additional information about the festival, the films, and a complete schedule.