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October 5, 2019 @ 10:00 am to approx. 12:30 pm


When violinist Simon Daoud is hired to teach the violin to a class of unruly junior high school students in an immigrant suburb of Paris, his first instinct is to run back to his rarefied world of classical string quartets.  His mission to teach these twelve loudmouths to perform the violin parts in Rimsky-Korsakov’s  Cheherazade at the Paris Philharmonic at the end of the school year seems beyond impossible.  Yet as he gets to know the kids and their families, Simon’s priorities shift and he determines to do everything in his power to get them to the Philharmonic.  While the movie clock is kept ticking by this exciting objective, the film’s heartwarming core is in its portrayal of the diverse group of kids rought together in the orchestra class.  Writer-director Rachid Hami combines a documentary sensibility with a knack for bringing out his young actors’ comedic flair and dramatic intensity.  In this regard, Orchestra Class’s major discovery is Alfred Renely, the fifteen-year-old actor who shines as Arnold, a quiet boy who discovers he is a natural by taking his violin up to the roof of his housing project every night to practice.

THE ORCHESTRA (La Melodie) is included in the 2019 YOUNG FRENCH CINEMA  program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.

Writer|Director: Rachid Hami
Screenplay:  Guy Laurent, Valérie Zenatti and Rachid Hami
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music
Running Time: 102 minutes
Distributor: Unifrance
Country: France
Language: French w|English Subtitles
Rating: N|R
Starring: Kad Merad, Samir Guesmi, Renely Alfred
Premiere:  West Coast

FESTIVALS: Italy, Venice Film Festival; Colombia, Festival de cine francés de Colombia; South Korea, Pusan International Film Festival; United Arab Emirates, Dubai International Film Festival; Sweden, Göteborg Film Festival; Poland, Transatlantyk Film Festival; USA, Film Society of Lincoln Center

“While Algerian-born director Rachid Hami’s film may tread familiar territory it refreshingly eschews the simplistic sentimental cinematic notion of ‘musical misfits make good’ and strikes an engaging harder-edged chord with its story of dour French-Algerian classical violinist who attempts to encourage, tame and ultimately inspire a raucous and resolutely rude Parisian music class.” … Rotten Tomatoes

Website w|Trailer and Press Kit: https://en.unifrance.org/movie/42324/orchestra-class





October 5, 2019
10:00 am to approx. 12:30 pm
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Historic Camelot Theatre @ the Palm Springs Cultural Center
2300 E Baristo Road
Palm Springs, CA 92262 United States


Desert Film Society