Choose a scene from the film Monsieur Lazhar, which you found interesting, then discuss its thematic significance and how that specific scene fits in the main story told in the film as a whole, and how it helps us develop the major topics explored in this module.
Identify one of the major ideas developed in Jessica LaCroix and Felicia Pratto’s essay “Denial of Personhood…” (this week’s assigned reading), then use that idea to discuss and support your analysis of one or more examples from the film. Explain how that idea in the essay contributes to understanding the social, cultural and political context that inspires the story told in the film Monsieur Lazhar. In your view, how does Philippe Falardeau’s film Monsieur Lazhar share similar thematic concerns with the previous films we studied in class? Does it explore new or different themes? Offer a comparison based on concrete examples.
In previous films, we considered stories from the perspective of marginalized characters: e.g. indigenous populations (under French colonial domination), women (in a patriarcal society), religious minorities, disabled persons, black persons. What is/are the main point of view(s) from which the film Monsieur Lazhar is told? How does seeing the story from that/those perspective(s) help viewers see things differently? or to see them with more insight and depth? From within that perspective, conduct a brief character study in which you analyze the portrayal of the main protagonist of the film Monsieur Lazhar: What do we know about his background? What is the cultural/geographical setting in which his story unfolds in the film? What are some of the personal dilemmas faced by the main character? How does he grapple with or handle them? What are the various forms of interaction that exist between him and others in his environment (his students, his colleagues, hs community) and how do they evolve in the film? How are his challenges reflective of broader perceptions of immigrants in (French) Canada? Consider the ways in which he fits or doesn’t fit in (French) Canadian society. How does his portrait raise questions about the limits/flaws of the dominant definition of French Canadian identity? What does this tell us about dominant visions of Canadian identity?
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