Reviewed by DelphineM
on 26/06/2015 15:50

France is already home for social and educational documentaries: THE CLASS is probably the most well-known case, winning the Palme d'Or in Cannes back in 2008. What SCHOOL OF BABEL brings to the table, is an hindsight of these kids freshly arrived in France who have to adapt to both the language and culture of a new country. All the students also have very strong background and various reasons to move to France. Director Julie Bertuccelli achieves to intrude in the life of their school class, making the students, the parents and the teacher forget about the camera. The teacher, Brigitte Cervoni, is a charismatic and caring character. One of the key point in the student life of these teenagers is to decide whenever they would be able to join their peers in a "general class" according to their French skills and capacity to adapt to their new environment. With a reduced emphasis on drama compared to THE CLASS, Julie Bertuccelli brings out the most of all the emotions felt by the students and the teacher. SCHOOL OF BABEL leaves the audience with a strong feeling of tenderness.