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.