Over the course of Year 12, JAGS and Dulwich College students have been participating in a co-education enrichment programme together on Thursday afternoons.

I chose European Cinema as it linked directly to my A-level subjects and I’m also very interested in exploring different aspects of European Culture.

With Madame Arora we watched films in French and German, including Amélie, The Lives of Others, Les Intouchables and Les Diaboliques.

To summarise each of the films briefly, Amélie, is about a young woman (Audrey Tautou)  who decides to do good towards all people around her and over the course of her missions she discovers love with a man named Nino Quincampoix.

The Lives of Others is a German film, set in the time during which the Berlin wall existed, separating East and West Germany. It tells the story of an agent from the secret police who is ordered to spy on a man named Georg Dreyman, a playwright and his girlfriend, Christa-Maria Sieland, who is an actress. We also watched the German films, ‘Good Bye Lenin!’ and ‘Sophie Scholl’.

Our groups personal favourite was ‘Les Diaboliques’ a black and white French film from 1955. It is set in a boarding school that is owned by a young woman called Christina Delassalle and her husband Michel Delassalle. Michel is a very unpleasant person who treats Christina awfully; he also has a mistress, Nicole Horner, who is actually very good friends with Christina. The two women plot to kill Michel, so he is out of their lives – but their plan goes wrong when his body randomly disappears… We thought that the film would be very predictable but there is a great, unexpected plot twist at the end so it is definitely worth the watch!

My favourite film had to be Les Intouchables. Not only is it my favourite foreign language film but it is also my top choice in general. Although I had watched it before, I couldn’t wait to watch it again. It tells the story of Philippe, a wealthy, quadriplegic, Parisian aristocrat who employs Driss, from the estates outside of Paris, as his new carer. Driss only applied for the job so that he could have his form signed, in order to receive state benefits, but Philippe challenges him and offers him a trial period of a month to gain experience helping him.  Over their time together, a beautiful friendship sparks between them and their lives are both significantly changed. The film is hilarious but it also highlights some very serious issues, so there is a great contrast.

Overall, European Cinema was really enjoyable and it is the perfect activity for anyone who is studying languages and is interested in exploring the culture outside of the curriculum.

By Rae Amosu

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