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French (English subtitles)
Director Laurent Cantet's riveting, Palme d'Or winning drama chronicles a year in the life of a rough school in a working class suburb of Paris. Realism is the key here - the film is based on the autobiographical book by teacher Francois Begaudeau, who also plays the main character Francois Marin, who uses tough but sympathetic methods to win over his unruly classes. He is initially successful, but before long his rebellious charges are challenging his authority. Cantet adds further authenticity by casting real-life students from a multitude of ethnic backgrounds - French, North African, Middle Eastern and more - to create a microcosm of modern, multicultural France.
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