Rentrée des classes (1956)

A French short movie (his second)by Jacques Rozier .

Beginning of the school year in a small town in the south of France. The boy needs to finish his vacation home work, and seeks out the help of an old man, who of course gets most questions wrong (the old man will be summoned by the teacher later on to get some telling off) .

On his way to this first day of class, the boy is challenged by his classmate to dare throw his school bag in the river from the top of the bridge, which he does of course, for a money reward. But his classmate runs off without paying.

Not daring to go to class without his school bag (with his badly done home work in it), he goes into the river to get it back while the others are already in class. But the boy keeps on swimming in the river even after finding his bag again, marvelling in the beautiful surroundings in the sunshine. He catches a river snake and takes it to plan his vengeance on the classmate who dared him… and this set off some commotion.

I liked this movie just a bit more than Zéro de conduite. The river scenes are beautiful and you almost wish you could as well spend your day without a care in the world in the water, between the tries, in the sunshine, just enjoying the moment.

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