Nova scotia, canada B2G2W5 jmensch@stfx.Ca

Last year a remarkable, but disturbing film won the Cannes Film Festival’s French Language prize. Using actual students as actors, Laurent Cantet’s “Entre les Murs” depicted the constant tug of war between them and their French teacher. Demanding respect, but often showing none, the teenagers made the simplest teaching task a difficult and drawn-out enterprise. The final dialogue of the film is the most disturbing. Let me quote a few lines in translation. A shy student, Henriette, is the last to leave the classroom at the end of the year. She approaches the teacher and says: Sir? FRANÇOIS : Yes? What is it? HENRIETTE : I didn’t learn anything. FRANÇOIS : What? Why are you saying that? That doesn’t mean anything.
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