French Film Stresses Immigration in France

York Prep’s French Film Club went to see the film “Les mains en l’air” on Tuesday, March 8, at the IFC Center. “Les mains en l’air” was one of 22 films featured in this year’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, a film festival that takes place in New York every March. Twenty students of French in grades 9-11 attended with their French teacher, Ms. Campo.


Students had the opportunity to meet the Director, Romain Goupil, who spoke briefly before the start of the film. The story, a drama, tells the tale of a Chechen elementary school student living in Paris who fears being deported from France with her family for not having a legal immigration status. A group of her French classmates fight to legalize her status in France by revolutionary means.


York students attending the show appreciated the young actors and were impressed with their ability to evoke intense emotions. Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, sister of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and sister-in-law of the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, held the lead adult role in the film.


French 10 student Jeremy said, “It was a real French experience! Hearing French for two hours and being able to see the Parisian life style first-hand was an eye-opener.” Fellow sophomore Owen said, “The film displayed many cultural differences between the U.S. and France, especially in terms of the legal system.”