Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Charles Batson




films, education, analyzed, explored, french


This thesis explores the varying critiques of the French education system as depicted in films. The four films analyzed were: Zéro de conduite (1933), Les quatre cents coups (1959), Entre les murs (2008), and Dans la maison (2012). Two major themes are explored throughout this thesis: the results of the national education system, and the relationship between students and teachers. These themes are explored using both a psychological approach and a technical filmic analysis. In the psychological approach, the psychological maturation of adolescents as it relates to education is explored using theories developed by psychologists such as Olivier Maulini and Suzanne Benack. In the filmic analysis, aspects such as camera angle, motion, and use of light are analyzed. These themes are analyzed in order to determine what one critique each of the films makes about the French educational system. Overall, it was found that the films were linked by their criticism of the French system of national education, which the films showed was too oppressive and failing to educate its students. No solution was proposed by the films, so it is up to the spectators of the films to come to their own solution to the problem.