Qs on Au Revoir Les Enfants.
1) What is one Existentialist question the movie explores? What answer does it suggest?
Existentialism is a philosophical movement about the plight of the individual and the responsibility for acts of free will without certain knowledge of what is right or wrong. In the movie Au Revoir les Enfants Julian and Jean become friends at a French boarding school. One of the existentialist questions the movie explores is whether Julian sees Jean any differently when he finds out that he is a Jew. Julian starts to notice that Jean is different than the other children for example he doesn't take a communion wafer and he doesn't say the prayers in church. In the movie Julian decides that he likes Jean and if it means that he likes Jews, then Jews must be okay. The answer suggests that children are smarter than adults and can size up people based on their actions not on their cultural or religious traditions.
2) In what ways is this movie influenced by New Wave Cinema?
The new wave cinema movement influenced Au Revoir les Enfants. The new wave cinema movement in France showed life and current social issues on location. The movies showed social and political upheavals of the era. New wave cinema was filmmaking that was presented like a documentary. The movie Au Revoir les Enfants was about a real event that happened in the life of the director. Three people from his boarding school were taken away because they were Jewish. In French new wave cinema it is more gritty and realistic than in movies that were based on books written by novelists. The movie tackles really hard social questions and treats it like a slice of life documentary. The movie Au Revoir les Enfants was influenced by new wave cinema because it tells a story about a social issue in a gritty and realistic way.