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Directed by Julie Bertuccelli

France 2013 93 mins.

Bertuccelli’s observational documentary follows a group of newly arrived immigrant teens as they begin their studies at La Grange-aux-Belles secondary school in Paris and prepare for entry into the French educational system. At the center of this dramatic transition is teacher Brigitte Cervoni, a wise and patient woman charged with guiding a diverse class of 11- to 15-year-olds hailing from countries including Tunisia, Ireland, Senegal, China, Serbia and Brazil. Part psychologist and part surrogate mother, Cervoni helps her students cope with problems ranging from homesickness to emotional trauma while instilling in her students a sense of self-worth and mutual respect. As the teens adjust—and some begin to blossom—the results are illuminating, moving and exhilarating.

Genres: Documentary

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.