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Vivre IciSpace, Place and Experience in Contemporary French Documentary$
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Alison J. Murray Levine

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940414

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786940414.001.0001

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(p.101) Chapter Four School
Vivre Ici

Alison J. Murray Levine

Liverpool University Press

This chapter considers five films from among the rich and diverse archive of French documentaries devoted to school experience from the past twenty years. The filmmakers included are Denis Gheerbrant, Nicolas Philibert, Régis Sauder, Pascale Diez, and Julie Bertucelli. This collection of films by a diverse mix of filmmakers examines life in an equally diverse mix of schools and classes. They share an interest in configuring the space of the school in terms of experiential relationships rather than expository argumentation. They invite viewers to explore a particular space and develop a sense of co-presence with its inhabitants, resulting in a sense of ecological connection within a shared ecosystem rather than identification with, or mastery of, the subjects in the film. The films highlighted in this chapter are considered within the context of contemporary debates about the “school crisis” in France, and viewer responses to two of the films are studied in detail.

Keywords:   School documentary, School crisis, Banlieue schools, Rural schools, Urban schools

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