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Award-Winning Film 'The Class'
to Screen Oct. 1-4 at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Sept. 21, 2009

poster for "The Class"EAU CLAIRE — "The Class," a film by Laurent Cantet that won the Palme d'Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, will screen Oct. 1-4 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The International Film Society will present the documentary-like drama at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre.

Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by François Bégaudeau, who stars in the film, "The Class" covers one year in a high-school classroom in a tough Paris suburb. Cultures and attitudes often clash as a young teacher of French engages his class in verbal jousting. As amusing and inspiring as his students can be, their difficult behavior would jeopardize any teacher's enthusiasm for the low-paying job. Neither stuffy nor severe, his extravagant frankness often takes the students by surprise. But the teacher's classroom ethics are put to the test when his students begin to challenge his methods.

"The power of 'The Class' will sneak up on you," wrote Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan. "It did that to the audience at the film's Cannes premiere, and it did it to the Sean Penn-led festival jury, which startled itself by unanimously awarding this picture the Palme d'Or. It is that surprising, and that good."

"I would be surprised if this brilliant and touching film didn't become required viewing for teachers all over the United States," wrote David Denby in The New Yorker. "Everyone else should see it as well — it's a wonderful movie."

In French with English subtitles, the 128-minute film is rated PG-13.

Admission is free at the door with a Blugold Card or International Film Society membership. IFS memberships are available at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby.

More information about the campus film series is available online and at the Activities and Programs office, Davies Center 133.

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JS/DW

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