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Young Ahmed and our students - discussions with the Dardenne brothers

Talking directly about “radicalisation” with students is often unproductive. The term ‘radicalisation’ itself is rarely in their vocabulary, even if they sometimes meet it in their daily life.

It is through cinema and the latest film by the Dardenne brothers, ‘Young Ahmed’, that two professors, one of Literature, the other of Sociology, who develop educational tools for the AfVT (French Association of Victims of Terrorism), have decided to approach the question of radicalisation. They do this by sharing their film with two classes, one of college-age, the other of high school, and discussing it with them. By discovering the character of Ahmed, who is almost their age, the students reflect on topic of radicalisation and consider its consequences.

Cinema and fiction is often a good basis for discussion. The students were asked to interpret, discuss and raise questions about the choices made by the filmmakers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, who came from Belgium to meet them in Paris. How to account for Ahmed’s view of the world? Why choose to film the radicalisation of a young boy not yet out of childhood? Can Ahmed become the simple child he was before? How to ask the question of responsibility?

Three articles reflect a beautiful lesson in cinema and an educational experience full of humanism.

Links to articles:

1: LE JEUNE AHMED ET NOS ÉLÈVES (1), ECHANGES AVEC LES FRÈRES DARDENNE

2: LE JEUNE AHMED ET NOS ÉLÈVES (2), LE COUTEAU ET LE BRIN D’HERBE

3: LE JEUNE AHMED ET NOS ÉLÈVES (3), L’HISTOIRE D’AHMED, C’EST UNE COURSE ET UNE CHUTE

Chantal Anglade and Delphine Allenbach from AfVT (Association française des victimes du terrorisme)

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