Opening December 21, 2017
Directed by: Rachid Hami
Writing credits: Guy Laurent, Valérie Zenatti, Rachid Hami
Principal actors: Kad Merad, Samir Guesmi, Renély Alfred
Simon (Merad), a violinist in a rut, signs up to give violin lessons to six graders in the Paris banlieue - a class of wild kids from varied ethnic and social backgrounds. Although the classroom teacher Farid (Guesmi) is always optimistic and his motto is not to force the kids, Simon finds the unruly and belligerent children almost hopeless. But one child, Arnold (Alfred), shows real promise. A musical friendship develops between Simon and Arnold and with Arnold's help the whole class slowly begins to cross boundaries. At one critical point even the parents get involved. With this growing success Simon manages to find new purpose in life.
This dramatic comedy - as many teacher/student films do - moves you to tears at the end. The director certainly is a genius at filming kids. (Thelma F.)