Skirts n’ Guns at school

Article published on Feb. 9, 2009
Article published on Feb. 9, 2009
La journée de la jupe Skirt Day France, Belgium, 2008, 87 min Director: Jean-Paul Lilienfeld Cast: Isabelle Adjani, Denis Podalydès, Yann Collette, Section: Panorama Very similar to Cannes last golden palm laureate “The Class”, director Jean-Paul Lilienfeld depicts in his film the flaws found in French
education: insufficient staff, violent students and latent ethnic conflicts. The school becomes a social hot spot where different cultures, classes and religious views clash with each other.  Good-will of the teacher alone can not solve the problem. Sonia Bergerac (Isabelle Adjani) is completely overstrained with her job in front of tyrannic students. Eventually she decides to bring a gun to class and introduces radical new teaching methods. Things escalate when she gets involved in a hold up that involves students, parents, police, a desperate principal and voyeuristic media alike. Lilienfeld has produced a drama which is sometimes a bit far fetched, but which refuses easy guilt patterns. Politicians, teacher and students are equally accused. The message is clear: all of them have to get back in the boat to save an ailing education system.   

photo: Berlinale

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