Review of “The Graduation”

Review of “The Graduation”

Documentary movies always come along with knowledge and awareness that is interesting for curious and explorer audience. Few years ago attending a film festival in France gave me a chance to visit the Parisian cinema school, la femis. It was exciting to visit a school that influential filmmakers like Louis Malle, Costa Gavras, and Alain Resnais attended it. I should mention another reason for visiting this school was my love for youth in my country and their education. It was pleasant to meet the school staff in that atmosphere. Though I had a short visit of the school but it was always important to me to know deeper about the school that discovers young talents in cinema. I was on a trip when Mr Shoja Noory called me from Fajr international film festival and asked me to watch a documentary movie and write about it, but I watched the movie on my way back. The movie is directed by the prominent French documentary filmmaker Claire Simon. This movie reminded me of visiting la Femis.

The movie is about the difficult duty of finding new talents among young students in a prestigious film school in France called la Femis.

La Femis works under observation of the ministry of culture. It works in different fields like technical, cultural, and artistic training related to audio visual cinema. La Femis has 7 departments: screenwriting, directing, production, camera, etc. they choose only 40 students after several rounds of oral and written entrance exam. I believe two Iranians have been able to pass these exams and study there.

This documentary would be interesting to fans, trainer, and everybody who is involved in this industry. The director by using the same frame in the beginning and end of the movie ”entrance gate of the school” takes us with the passionate students and their expectancy and also several month of hard work for staff in the school. The long hours of the round exams and discussion among the committee members who are usually local members of film industry attracts the curious audience to wait and see how they select students.

Claire Simon tries smartly to show the real but tough and long way of judgement in the field of art, that intentionally or unwillingly criticize this style. In a part of the movie the chairman of the school tells the committee members : you decide who comes to this school, who stays, and who leaves. In fact this decision is the most important duty in the art education system.

This movie makes the well-informed and interested audience know more about the modern methods in this film school. As one of the staff in the school says there is no training and no trainer here, but there is an entrance exam and a good design for applying this method.

Mohammad Afaride

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