Film Break: “The Class”

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I’ve seen the first truly great film of 2009– in fact, I think I’ve probably seen a film that will be a top contender for my year-end list. The Palme d’Or-winning movie The Class is a classroom drama that’s shot with gritty, documentary-style realism, and it unfolds so naturally that you’ll forget you’re watching a movie almost as soon as it starts rolling. Nothing feels staged, and nothing feels contrived, and if you expect it to be an arthouse version of Dead Poets Society, you’re in for a big surprise. This is a sophisticated and subtle piece of work about the complicated relationship between teacher and student, and it had me thinking back to my own high school teachers (for whom I cannot imagine a better tribute than this marvelous film) as well as to my own role as a (Sunday school) teacher. At times it’s funny, at times quite surprising, but the whole thing is very moving and authentic, enough so that I recommend it without hesitation.

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