LES CHORISTES
THE CHORUS

Director: Christophe Barratier
Screenplay: Christophe Barratier & Philippe Lopes-Curval

Cast:
Clément: Gérard Jugnot
Rachin: François Berléand
Chabert: Kad Merad
Pierre: Jean-Baptiste Maunier
Father Maxence: Jean-Paul Bonnaire
Violette: Marie Bunel

Awards:
Best Music, Best
Sound, César Awards (2005), Best Composer, European Film Awards (2004)

Running time: 96'
Year of production: France - 2005
Rating: PG-13
Gauge: 35mm, DVD (color)

Distributor: Swank Motion Pictures


“Its deceptively simple story delves into such issues as power and authority and the tyranny of adults’ low expectations of children… Its emotional resonance, poignancy and lifting music remain with you well after viewing.”
Claudia Puig, USA Today

In 1949, Clément Mathieu, an unemployed music teacher, is hired to supervise children in a school for juvenile delinquents. Under Rachin, the very strict school director, the educational system is particularly repressive (it includes beatings and solitary confinement) yet it does not effectively impose discipline among the students. Mathieu, a mild-mannered man, is too much of a coward to stand up to the director’s cruel practices. However, he is able to transform the lives of these affection-starved children by teaching them the magic of choir singing and music. His attempts to reach out to the students are often undermined by the director, but Mathieu does not despair and continues to pass his knowledge and love of music to the young boys. One student in particular catches his attention. Pierre Morhange is more talented than his peers and his beautiful voice quickly overshadows the others. Mathieu’s affection for Pierre grows, along with deep feelings for his mother, Violette, a beautiful young widow. With original music composed by Christophe Barratier, a musician himself, and Bruno Calais, The Chorus is as much about the power of music to transform lives as it is about growing up at a time when France was beginning to emerge from the devastation of WWII.

 
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