Best Films For La Rentrée

Here are some great classic French films about or based around school in France to get you in the mood for la rentrée this September.

  • Etre et Avoir, 2002

This documentary style film, directed by Nicolas Philibert tells the story of one class in a state school in the rural town of Saint-Etienne sur Usson in Auvergne. Taking place over one school year, this film follows a single teacher, Georges Lopez, and his class. It is, in itself, a commentary on school life, teaching conditions in this particular rural setting, the relationship between the pupils and their teacher and their individual circumstances and their relationships with their parents. Critically acclaimed and notably commented on for its individual style, this film is an absolute must-see.

  • Les choristes, 2003

In 1984 Clément Mathieu, a music teacher looking for a job, accepts a position as a supervisor in a boarding school. Following his start at the school he becomes increasingly aware and saddened by the repressive discipline imposed on the students by their director, Rachin. Using what he knows best, Mathieu introduces the students to music, particularly choral singing which in turn has a profound effect, changing the lives of the students there. This film is incredibly touching and the music is particularly beautiful.

  • Entre les murs, 2004

This film, directed by Laurent Cantet, explores the difficulties of young people growing up in hardship in Paris. Working in a challenging school in the 20ème arrondissement in Paris, Francois, a young and energetic teacher inspires those that he teaches to think and debate and engage in learning. He takes risks and is often confronted with conflict and resistance. The film explores and exposes these issues in a way that allows the audience to relate. In the movies, Paris is often portrayed as a beautiful historic city so it is important and interesting to see how different it can be.  


les choristes film