Monica Daucourt Doesn’t Teach French Film; She Teaches Life

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In her mind, however, the two are interconnected. “For me, film and language go hand in hand,” she said. “If you can attain another language, you can attain another way of life.”

Indeed, the class, a new semester course, has been exposing students to social issues and culture in French society through the medium of film.

To this end, Daucourt takes films which highlight both history and modern life in France so that students may see how American culture and that of the French compare. Students reflect through discussion and written work on the impact of the films, the techniques used and how they can tie it back to their own lives.

Seven weeks into the class, students have already seen four films, including a WWII movie (“la Rafle” – “the Roundup”) and an award-winning comedy (“les Intouchables” – “the Untouchables”). While the contrast between the two genres may seem stark, it’s only natural to Daucourt. “The output of French filmmakers rivals that of any country,” she wrote in her syllabus. “So a variety of genres will be presented.”

Daucourt, an American, has an extensive appreciation for all things French, having worked most of her adult life in France. Now, her goal is to share her knowledge and appreciation with her students. “I love film,“ she said. “I thought that [the class] would be the best way to build a bridge to French culture.”

Her students agree.

“I like this class because I’m learning about film and French culture,” said sophomore Gabi Green. “And both of those really interest me.

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