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Tournées French Film Festival: Examen d’Etat/ National Diploma
October 18, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
In the Congo, passing the national baccalaureate exam can save a young person from a life of manual labor and open the doors to university and a career. To fail the exam is to be fated to struggle for survival through menial work. As Congolese filmmaker Dieudo Hamadi’s documentary National Diploma so powerfully shows, the path to success in the national exam is full of challenges. We see a school principal come into a prep classroom and summon those students who have not paid their fees to pay up now or leave. Those who stay aren’t much better off: the teachers are striking because they haven’t been paid. So an enterprising group of students rents a house to cram for the exam. Yet Hamadi’s fly-on-the-wall camera reveals study methods that
are as surprising to Western eyes as they are endemic in the Congo: students visit marabouts for medicinal plants, get preachers to bless their pens or exorcize them, and, most importantly, pay recent graduates for cheat sheets. Working in classic cinema vérité style, Hamadi follows the group of students through the exam to the nerve-wracking announcement of the results, providing an indelible portrait of the role of education in Congolese society.
Examen d’Etat will be presented by Kyendamina Cleophace Mukeba, Director of the Vermont Ibutwa Initiative.
All films have English subtitles. Free and open to all. Free cookies will be provided; free parking on campus.
Tournées Film Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC), the French American Cultural Fund, Florence Gould Foundation and Highbrow Entertainment. The Alliance is also a proud sponsor of this festival at Saint Michael’s College.
Please contact Laurence Clerfeuille firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions that you may have.