Film Filmmakers and classrooms

French cinema 'owns' education.

Though films are now made practically everywhere in the world, historically there are three countries that have continuously produced and continue to produce an almost complete palette of these works: the United States, Japan and France. But, oddly perhaps, only in French cinema does there seem to be a constant and particular interest in schooling and education. Classic fiction films such as Zero for Conduct (1933), The 400 Blows (1959) and Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) cannot be detached from their scholastic setting.

This is not a characteristic only of the past: the biggest French hit of 2013 was the mainstream comedy Les Profs, which looks at a group of inept teachers at a French lycée, while several other of the most profitable films over the last ten or so years, including such films as Ducoboo, Le Petit Nicolas, The Chorus (Les Choristes) and the two recent War of the Buttons remakes showcase not only school-age children but children actively involved in learning and being prepared for a bright future or, especially in comedies, being punished for not doing as they're told.

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