Sunday, November 17, 2013

AP French: Discussing the film, "L'enfant," during the Family & Communities unit


Students of the French language and cultures need to be exposed to French and Francophone cinema, whether it be via snippets and/or trailers on YouTube or a full-length film.  As all world language educators know, film allows us to take a closer look at the cultures we study. Even the way international films tend to end informs us of our cultural differences. It is so amusing to see students' faces when a French/Francophone film ends abruptly.  What a great way to extend the conversation! Why did it end when it did and could the director have chosen a better moment? What do you think will happen next?
To kick off the start of our latest thematic unit, Family & Communities, students watched their first full-length film of the year:  "L'enfant", a Belgian film by directors Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne. The story is centered on the life of a poor, young couple who struggle tremendously in life and with their unplanned baby. There is plenty of drama as they live on government benefits while the young man lives his life of a thief with his middle school-aged partners in crime.
L'Enfant film.jpg
For the past three years or so, I have shown this film and have found students to love it every time! As a result, this is a great time to really talk about the issues that surround the theme of family and communities. Please note that the film is rated R, so you will probably want to send out a parental permission form (I did not send one out because there isn't really anything scandalous happening other than some cursing here and there. It should be PG-13, I think.)
After the viewing is complete, students prepare an oral presentation of the film. They have two questions that they must answer before choosing their third question. I did not ask them to prepare a visual with still shots from the film, but they did so, and I think I'll require it from now on. (They are so used to having visuals with presentations that it has become second nature. Yay!)
 Please visit my website for the student handout:
Got feedback? Please do share! There are many things that you could do with films, so I would love to know what you would do. 
Have you shown this film before? If so, how did it go?

What are some other films that you have incorporated into the AP units?
Please leave a comment so that we can continue the discussion.
Bon dimanche!

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