Zero for Conduct

Acclaimed short film “Zero for Conduct” (1933) directed by Jean Vigo wherein four students take over a boarding school in rebellion.

There is not much by way of a story here, the almost faded black and white images shows us that four boys are rebellious in the class. Even a couple of the teachers are shown as eccentric, one is shown as stealing things from the kids, another is clowning like Charlie Chaplin and third is doing hand stand in the class.

The kids are fed beans almost every day and there is strict disciplinary action against these four kids like asking them to stand in one place, grounding them for a day etc. The four kids plan and take over the school on the France’s Commemoration Day. The film ends with police entering the school premises.

Apparently the film is made as a result of Jean Vigo’s own experiences in a boarding school and the characters in the film also mirror some of his friends.

Production values for a 1933 film is quite good, though the print is quite out dated.

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