Carleton Author

Strand, Dana

Department

French and Francophone Studies

Journal Title

Studies in French Cinema

Publication Date

2009

First Page

259

Publisher

Intellect Ltd.

Last Page

273

File Name

093_Strand-Dana_EtreEtParler.pdf

Keywords

Kechiche, Cantet, language, education, national identity, Entre les murs, L’Esquive

Abstract

French film-makers have long recognized the primordial importance to the nation’s ‘imagined community’ of the centralized public school system, which, since the early days of the Third Republic, has been viewed as a bulwark of Republican values. In this essay, I discuss the ways in which two recent films, Abdellatif Kechiche’s L’Esquive/The Dodge (2004) and Laurent Cantet’s Entre les murs/The Class (2008), interrogate the role French schools play in shaping national identity. Both films focus on language as a marker of difference as well as a point of tension, performance and potential subversion, by exploring the respective contrast between the aggressive street French of the respective films’ adolescent protagonists with the stultifying bureaucratic discourse of the inflexible educational system (in Entre les murs) and Marivaux’s elegant eighteenth century French (in L’Esquive). Accorded significant media attention for their portrayal of the experiences of schoolaged youth, both films have thus contributed to the ongoing national debate about what it means ‘to speak, and to be, French’ (Doran 2007: 498).

Rights Management

Carleton College does not own the copyright to this work and the work is available through the Carleton College Library following the original publisher's policies regarding self-archiving. For more information on the copyright status of this work, refer to the current copyright holder.

RoMEO Color

Green

Preprint Archiving

Yes

Postprint Archiving

Yes

Publisher PDF Archiving

No

Contributing Organization

Carleton College

Type

Article

Format

application/pdf

Language

English

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