Michel Leclerc signs an intelligent comedy on social diversity in a school environment and on the difficult choice between respecting collective moral values or opting for an individualistic approach Private schools are a violation of the Republican pact, of equal opportunities”. So goes the initial reaction of the leading couple in Battle of the Classes [+], the new film by Michel Leclerc (released in French cinemas by UGC Distribution), when their son’s best friend leaves the local primary school. Mixing, as always, uncomplicated comedy and social analysis, with the addition of a political message, the director of The Names of Love [+] has, this time, chosen to tackle a subject which is a source of great discontent for many among the free-thinking middle-classes – or “bobos” (“bourgeois bohèmes”) – in the great metropolises, advocates of social melting and mixing who don’t think twice about moving into rough areas, but who often end up back-tracking on these values when the subject of their children’s future schooling is on the table. Battle of the Classes dissects this tendency by way of a humoristic approach, never taking itself too seriously and allowing the viewer to step back from the heavy realism in the film. It shines a light on a great number of contradictions and paints a far more complex portrait of the inner Parisian suburbs than could ever be imagined.
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