Free, secular, compulsory: the history of our school retraced on France 2

France 2 recounts 200 years of French school history. Point of day

The channel recounts two hundred years of French school heritage through a fascinating documentary.

Whether we loved it, feared it or hated it, school remains, for all of us, a common memory and a key moment in our childhood and adolescence. It is on the basis of this postulate that Françoise Davisse and Carl Aderhold, already authors of the documentary Stories of a Nation devoted to immigration, imagined and wrote the film Stories of a nation: the school broadcast on France 2.

A place of integration

“In our first documentary, many of our speakers spoke of school as a place of integration, language learning and, more generally, memories, whether positive or not.explains Françoise Davisse. So we said to ourselves that, if we wanted to talk about people, their experiences and the construction of the nation, school was essential. »

The film, divided into two parts of one hour each, retraces French school history, from 1882, when school became free, secular and compulsory, until today. Illustrated with superb archival footage and carried by the voice of Roschdy Zem, he recounts, from the inside, the permanent evolution of this institution intimately linked to the history of the nation and to the changes in our society. We thus discover the difficulties, at the end of the 19th century, of bringing children to class, those who, until then, worked and brought in money for their families, or even the existence of “high schools”, public and paying, where children from wealthy backgrounds aged 6 to 18 studied at the beginning of the 20th century.

Various testimonials

Over the decades, successive governments and various battles, the school has changed. An evolution recounted brilliantly in the film which also highlights the testimony and anecdotes of many known or unknown speakers, teachers or former students, on their personal and family experiences. The idea was to have an choral film with people from various regions, with a very different social level or relationship to school. We really want to make a story that is that of everyone, without evading conflicts or hard times”continues the author.

“School is for me something fundamental because it represents the apprehension of knowledge, the learning of the Republic and the possibility of social mixing”.

Ariane Ascaride

Michael Cymes, Ramzy Bedia, Franck Gastambide, Philip Conticini, Martin Fourcade, Jean Pierre Darroussin Where Ariane Ascaride agreed to testify. “School is for me something fundamental because it represents the apprehension of knowledge, the learning of the Republic and the possibility of social mixing.“explains the actress.

As a child, I thought that was great. In my family, there was great respect for the school and the teachers,” she adds. By retracing the rich and tumultuous history of the institution, this documentary also provides a better understanding of its current issues. “It would be nice if our film could open up the dialogue…”, concludes Françoise Davisse. To go further, journalist Julian Bugier will lead a debate after the broadcast.

Free, secular, compulsory: the history of our school retraced on France 2