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478 Ratings

The Competition

Le concours

Directed by Claire Simon
France, 2016


Through the admission process, the hard work all year and the graduation exams, this documentary will establish a portrait of our relationship to excellence in the Art world and of one of the most prestigious art school in France. A place of culture where generations intermingle.

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The Competition Directed by Claire Simon
Emphatically indebted to the hardcore vérité aesthetic of Frederick Wiseman, with no voiceover to explain anything or any captions to elucidate who’s who, this French documentary tracks the long process by which la Fémis, France’s most prestigious film school, winnows down thousands of applicants to just a lucky few.
September 14, 2017
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Observing both these entrance processes and the acceptance committee’s private discussions, Simon crafts a remarkably compelling portrait of the school from simple means; combining access and patient, direct observation of process in a manner that, for its straightness and lack of formal concern, has become unpopular of late.
June 22, 2017
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The extraordinary achievement of Claire Simon’s latest film relies on its ability to capture power at work… The Graduation is a potent film: it doesn’t exalt the role of institutions but exposes their limits, absurdity, and humanity. It allows audiences to witness how the invisible energy with which institutions infuse individuals travels from body to body, without belonging to anyone exclusively.
May 03, 2017

What are people saying?

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film The Competition

    The competition for a career specialism in the media industry is intense. The process of education in order to separate the wheat from the chaff is brutal, and the subjectivity of the industry makes it hard to fully deduce who deserves the breakthroughs and who should be shown the door. Needless to say, this documentary is compelling in the truest sense of the word.

  • Marco Pierrard's rating of the film The Competition

    En dévoilant les différentes épreuves que doivent affronter les potentiels futurs élèves de la Femis, Le concours interroge autant sur les règles de sélection de l'école que sur la nature du cinéma et les qualités qu'il faut pour faire partie de cette attirante industrie artistique. Chronique à lire sur Citazine :

  • MATTEO BITTANTI's rating of the film The Competition

    Le Concours exposes the ideologies inherent to the evaluation and assessment process of a prestigious school, the inconsistencies of "meritocracy", the logic of privilege and exclusivity, self branding and the performance of authenticity. Like Wiseman (At Berkeley), Simon does not take an overt, didactic stance. And that makes Le Concours remarkable both as an artwork and as an ethnographic record.

  • Bilouaustria's rating of the film The Competition

    And some dared to compare this to Wiseman ? Welcome to Nothingness, where about everything here will remind you of a bad TV show like "The Voice". And above all, forgetting the fact that the editing is quite mediocre, the big question remains : what is the point ? What is Claire Simon trying to do or to show ? Is it just terrible advertising for the Femis ? Does she have herself any idea ? I felt sad watching this.

  • OFF_FRAME's rating of the film The Competition

    Le Concours is an engaging watch for a filmmaker but it's hard to imagine that it would be all that interesting for anyone not interested in cinema. It's purely observational save for a scene right near the end and there is not really a chance to get to know any characters in depth. We do get a glimpse into the political demands of the modern education system in France but this could have dug deeper. 3 stars

  • Riddle, van, stellar's rating of the film The Competition

    there are complexities within its own observational structure. mainly from the flaming debates between the contestants and the jurors. Simon thus gives us an insight into the dubious, partisan, yet difficult qualification system. without imposing positions, the docu poses enough openness and it is as beautiful and prestigious as the name of the school, La Femis.

  • Superfrog's rating of the film The Competition

    "je l'ai entendu se mastuber devant ses rush avec les notes cinematorgraphiaues de Robert Bresson a la main" Amazing documentary, that completely hits the mark in a unashamedly self referential way. The bit about ~"having 7 boy and 8 girls, one black, one asian and on arab, from all over france. And to please our colleagues, poor people as well." is one of the harshest social comment in a film I have heard.

  • dmol's rating of the film The Competition

    I found the conversations and opinions very interesting, and if I could take part in them it would be a different story... The doc itself was very boring. I feel like the director gave me nothing - apart from a feeling of entrapment and exclusion. If she meant to make us feel like these kids do, she rather made me feel like we should put a privileged few on a pedestal, and just watch them while they guide us.

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