UAB Foreign Film Series – Tuesday, September 19th
8PM, Hulsey Recital Hall, free admission
The Chorus(French, 2005, Christophe Barratier, Director) – A memorable entry in the genre of inspirational pedagogical films, The Chorus is an uplifting tale of a masterful teacher who put his heart into his work and changed the lives of his students forever.
With a soundtrack of boys' singing, the music of this film is the glue that will stick to viewers long after watching it. Set in 1940s rural France, at a school for poor boys who are delinquent or orphaned, the story feels timeless in the way that it captures a crucial moment in the lives of the boys involved. Ranging from early elementary school level to junior high, the boys struggle for independence and self-expression. They defy authority, especially when it comes from their brutally unfair and abusive headmaster. And in general, because they feel neglected by their families, or don't have any family at all, there is something disjointed and sullen about the boys.
Only after their teacher, Clement Mathieu (Gérard Jugnot), shows them that he will guide them, befriend them, and teach them by peaking their curiosity, not by insisting or punishing, do they begin to change. The choir he forms, and the songs he teaches the boys, become a source of pride for them, allowing them to rise above the confines of their meager and stifling school, and dream of a bright future. –In French with English subtitles