MFL: Sixth Form Students Attend BFI Cinema Lectures


On Thursday 28th January, 15 Sixth Form A Level French pupils attended a lecture on French cinema at the London British Film Institute (BFI).

Their teachers, Mrs Ganivet and Mr Pianet, accompanied the group, with Dr Emily Salines and specialist cinema teacher Albertine Fox leading the event for the BFI.

A captive audience of 500 pupils from across the South East and Greater London area were escorted through decades of French cinema from the ‘Golden Age” in the 1930’s to the ‘Nouvelle vague” in 1960’s, which the latter created by illustrious directors like Francois Truffaut (Jules et Jim) and Jean-Luc Goddard (A bout de soufflé).

The lecture then explored various clips from a more recent period, including “social movies” such as La Haine (1995) by controversial yet acclaimed director Mathieu Kassovitz and Entre les Murs (2008) by Laurent Cantet.


Lower Sixth, Charleston House girl Eliza Hackett said of the event, “The lectures were fascinating, and the fact that the audience could join in and put forward their ideas enabled us to hear other thoughts that perhaps we would not have come up with ourselves.

“Honestly, I had not expected that I would understand anywhere near as much as I did, but I came out of the lecture both with a new perspective on cinema and also feeling much more confident with my ability to understand more complex French.”

The afternoon then saw a screening of Bande de Filles (Girlhood, 2014), an extraordinarily powerful film set in suburban Paris with a cast of exclusively black boys and girls.

The film provided a truly superb visual experience and was quite emotionally intense!


Lower Sixth, Crossways House girl Ana Entwisle added, “The screening of Bande de Filles was very enjoyable and helped me to understand more about the different cultures within France and the journey through adolescence.

“The whole trip was extremely beneficial for both AS and A2 students, and we definitely all learned a lot. As well as broadening my understanding of French cinema specifically, it definitely stimulated my curiosity to explore more about French culture in general.”

We all came back, pupils and teachers alike, with a ballet of images and cinematographic clips in our heads; the day provided a huge amount to think about, not least the vital power of French cinema and the way it draws inspiration from France’s quixotic and fractious social mix.


Learn more about the Bede's MFL department >

Learn more about life in the Sixth Form at Bede's >