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The Chorus Script

Yes?

Pierre, there's an urgent call from France.

After the concert.

It's about your mother.

Yes?

Do you remember me?

Fond de I'tang.

"My father is coming for me on Saturday."

Ppinot.

Of course.

Ppinot.

- How long has it been? - About years.

Fond de I'tang.

You're the little guy in the front row.

And there you are.

Do you remember the prefect's name?

Clment Mathieu.

Clment Mathieu.

I wonder what happened to him.

Open it.

"Fond de I'tang.

."

Mathieu kept a journal while he worked at Fond de I'tang.

That's his story. Ours too.

He wanted you to have it.

I'd have preferred to deliver it under different circumstances, but...

"January

After failing for so long in so many fields,

I was sure the worst was still to come."

It was a boarding school where troubled children were rehabilitated.

That's what the advertisement said.

Fond de I'tang.

Even the name seemed to fit me like a glove.

Hello.

You're all alone?

What are you doing there?

Waiting for Saturday.

Why?

My father is coming for me.

But it's not Saturday.

Ppinot.

Ppinot.

Hello. I'm Clment Mathieu, the new prefect.

Have you done this type of work before?

I taught some classes in private

school.

- What did you teach? - Music.

You'll like Rachin, our headmaster. He used to play the trumpet.

- Hello, Ppinot. - Hello.

His daughters. He lives right there.

- You haven't met Mr. Rachin? - Not yet, no.

- Mrs. Boissemand recommended me. - Really?

That was old Maxence.

He told me on the spot that he was the school watchman,

as well as its nurse, storekeeper and glazier.

- What is he doing? - Serving detention for Mr. Rachin.

Fifteen days of community work. In other words, school drudge.

What kind of children are they, exactly?

- No one told you? - No.

My infirmary. I'll show you my vegetable garden later.

I'd like that.

- Damn it! What have they done now? - I'll help you.

Are you Clment Mathieu?

The headmaster...

Rachin, the school's headmaster.

Headmaster, I'm sorry...

- Yes, you're late. - I had the wrong bus schedule.

Punctuality is essential here.

Very well.

Headmaster.

Very well, Headmaster.

Come with me.

First you should study the school regulations,

then you can supervise the : study period before you...

What are you doing? Answer m e.

- Take this. - It's my eye.

Another trap. You can appreciate our boarders' finer instincts.

Get him over there.

I'm blinded.

Don't make a fuss. Show me.

It's not pretty.

Ring the bell. School assembly.

- We should call a doctor. - Do you know how much they charge?

What did I say? Ring the assembly.

The bell?

Next to the door, right in front of you.

All right.

Assembly.

Assembly.

- Are they always like that? - Keep ringing the bell.

Two abreast.

Everybody in the schoolyard. Assembly.

Hurry up.

Move faster. Be silent.

- Chrome Dome. - Be silent.

- Chrome Dome. - Be silent.

Be silent.

- I didn't say anything. - Be silent.

I called this assembly

because of a despicable attempt against old Maxence.

Under our action -reaction rule, the culprit will be severely punished.

I want the culprit's name within the next three seconds,

or it's six hours of lock -up for each one of you.

Effective until he's betrayed or gives himself up.

Is that clear?

One...

Two...

Three.

No volunteers?

Of course. Come closer.

- Mathieu. - Me?

Come closer.

The school register, Mr. Chabert.

Thank you.

Mr. Mathieu, your new prefect, has been spared your acquaintance.

- Chrome Dome. - Be silent.

So he can choose who goes first without bias.

Be silent.

Pick a name.

At random?

- A word of advice... - Don't interfere. Go on.

Boniface.

Too bad. Chabert, get Boniface.

- Sir, I didn't do anything. - Shut up.

- It's lousy, I didn't do anything. - Watch your language.

Move.

- I won't go. - I'll kick your backside for you.

Be silent.

Furthermore, until I've found the culprit,

there will be no recess and no visitors.

I advise you to give him up quickly.

It's an encouragement to turn informer.

You're full of noble illusions like any new staff member.

Come see me in eight days.

You'll be replacing Mr. Rgent. He'll explain your duties.

Clean sheets.

Thank you.

Why are you leaving?

Ten stitches.

Cut with scissors.

Just for confiscating Mouton's cigarettes.

- Mouton? - The boy's name is Mouton.

And Mouton's still here?

By the way, Le Querrec booby-trapped Maxence's door.

I heard him talking about it in the corridor.

- And you didn't say anything? - I didn't want to miss the bus.

Old Maxence punished him for breaking some glass panes.

Simple revenge. That's just his st yle.

Le Querrec.

Don't forget that name: Le Querrec.

- Morhange too. - Yes.

Morhange doesn't talk much, but keep an eye on him.

Looks like an angel, acts like the devil.

Action-reaction.

That's all they understand.

They're all yours.

- Good luck. - Thank you.

Our benefactresses.

The timetable's over there.

Classes were shared between the headmaster,

who taught French and History,

and Mr. Langlois, who taught every other subject.

Mr. Langlois, here's the new prefect.

Clment Mathieu.

- A prefect at your age? - Yes, but I used to teach.

Very well then.

And he's the funny one.

Take your study period. You're late. No need to show you the way.

Watch out. Chrome Dome's coming.

Gentlemen.

No smoking during class.

The rules apply to everyone. Even you, sir.

Give it back.

Be quiet.

Give it back.

Be silent.

Give it back.

An auspicious beginning. Congratulations, Mathieu.

Sit.

Of course.

You again.

What did he do?

Nothing, Headmaster.

What do you mean, "nothing?" You were about to punish him.

I asked him to go to the blackboard

and I was just telling them to be silent.

Not a minute too soon.

Don't make me come back.

Stand in the corner.

Very well.

Now that you've come to know me, we need to set things straight.

Right now, one of your classmates is in lock -up.

For no good reason.

I may not look like much but I'm no fool.

I know who did it.

He has

seconds to give himself up.

I'm waiting.

You'll regret it. Five seconds left.

Too late.

Le Querrec.

Who is Le Querrec?

I am, sir.

What a surprise.

- You hurt Mr. Maxence. - No, sir. I didn't do it.

- That wasn't a question. - I didn't do anything.

Between the two of us, I wonder who the headmaster will believe.

I need someone dependable to keep an eye on things while I'm gone.

According to my sixth sense, that dependable student must be...

...Mr. Morhange.

Come on, come on. Who is Mr. Morhange?

That's me, sir.

So you're the angel.

Go down. You'll supervise the class while I'm gone.

Go on.

Nice. You could pull out your shirt a bit more.

I'm told the rebellious have strong leadership skills. Prove it.

Come to the headmaster's office.

- Have mercy, sir. - Mercy?

What about the boy who's taken your place? And old Maxence?

I didn't want to hurt him. It was just a joke.

A joke?

...a little stint in lock -up. I've had enough of you.

But first, I'm going to give you the flogging of your life.

- Who is it? - Leclerc.

He's tried to run away three times. He's taking him to lock -up.

- So you won't be alone. - Don't.

Maybe we can come to an agreement.

You hurt Mr. Maxence. Badly.

I won't take you to the headmaster but I have to punish you.

Instead of fooling around during recess, you'll work in the infirmary.

You'll be old Maxence's nurse.

You'll look after him until he's cured.

All right?

Not bad.

What do you think?

But I can do better. Give me the chalk. Stand in profile.

Profile.

Let's see a smile for a change.

You can look now.

I almost forgot... Some color would be nice.

Much better. Get back to your seat.

Very well.

I want to get to know you, so you're going to write your name,

your age and your dream job on a piece of paper.

I was ast onished when they all did as they were told.

All except one.

You're not writing?

How long have you been here?

A long time?

I don't know.

Write, little fellow.

An exhausting first day.

I forgot why I came here in the first place.

Rachin scares me, the building scares me, even the children scare me.

I keep expecting them to slip into my recess and murder me.

My blanket.

- Got a cigarette? - Shut up.

Go to bed.

I read the assignments again.

They all had fabulous dreams.

Two firemen, three cowboys, one tiger tamer, one fighter pilot,

two spies, a general under Napoleon, one balloonist, three legionaries...

Not one school prefect.

It was nice of you to volunteer to be my nurse.

Doctor, the new prefect asked for a volunteer to take care of me.

And he raised his hand right away.

Proof that we should believe in miracles.

Come in.

Mr. Mathieu, the new prefect.

So?

It's pretty bad, Maxence.

If they've started attacking you, they're beyond help.

You're so patient with them.

I've got a thick skull. You shouldn't be feeling sorry for me.

I feel sorry for those poor kids. Don't forget one of them is dead.

Dead?

His name was Mouton. He jumped off the roof.

Good thing he was an orphan.

Look at him. Everyone says he's a lost cause. It's not true.

He's a good boy. You just have to know him.

Old Maxence is a nice guy.

I'm talking to you, Le Querrec. Don't you think he's nice?

No?

Yes.

- I didn't hear you. - Leave him alone. He's shy.

Like me.

One, two, three, four...

Faster.

Yes?

- I'd like a word, Headmaster. - Leaving us so soon?

- No, I'd like to try something. - You don't say.

About the accident.

- That was no accident. - Quite.

I need three things from you.

- Is that all? - One, cancel the group punishment,

two, let me deal with the culprit, and three, don't ask me for his name.

You'd have to know it first.

Naturally.

Your arrogance astounds me. Do you really think you'll find him?

Very well. If you succeed, I'll cancel the group punishment.

But you'll never get the culprit or I'm the biggest fool in nature.

I know who did it, Headmaster.

Congratulations.

Who is it?

You said I wouldn't have to tell you.

Fine. Very well then.

But I don't like your manners.

You'd better make sure your students behave.

- I've already got them under control. - That's what you think.

One, two, three, four... Go on.

Faster.

- There's no pictures of naked women. - I never said there were naked women.

What does yours say?

"Ave Maria for soprano by Clment Mathieu."

I've got, "String quartet...

...by Clment Mathieu." - Looks like music.

- What do you know about it? - Maybe it's Morse.

- Or some secret code. - Maybe he's no prefect.

Maybe he's an undercover spy.

Chrome Dome.

Give it back to me.

- What is it, sir? - None of your business.

Is there a problem, Mathieu?

No problem.

It's just music.

What for?

A chorus.

In the water closets?

Clear out, chorus.

- Not here, Mathieu. - What?

- Don't play the idiot. - You're not suggesting...?

I won't say anything this time.

- You really see evil everywhere. - In here? Yes.

Baldy, you are through

The rules won't be made by you

Baldy, you are through

The rules won't be made by you

The rules won't be made by you

Chickening out, guys?

- You're Corbin. - Yes, sir, but I didn't do anything.

- You were singing. - No, sir. I swear.

You were singing. Badly. And you couldn't ev en tell.

Go on. Sing.

I'm listening.

Would you prefer to sing for the headmaster? Go on.

Chrome Dome Prepare to meet your doom

Chrome Dome Prepare to meet your doom

You're not the boss of us

You're not the boss of us

No one ever told you you couldn't sing?

Sir? Is that really music in your satchel?

Mind your own business.

By the way, if I ever catch one of you messing with my things...

...he'll be very sorry.

Now be quiet. Time to go to bed. Hurry up.

It's over.

Go to sleep.

I couldn't get their ditty out of my head.

They're not very good at it, but they are singing.

I even spotted a few good voices.

Are those kids really a lost cause?

And I had sworn never to touch my music again.

Never say never.

Nothing is ever truly lost.

January

rd.

One week after his accident, old Maxence suddenly took a turn for the worse.

The doctor sent him to the hospital.

Is he going to die?

No, we'll save him.

The very same day, Ppinot got into trouble.

Mr. Ppinot, you're a dunce.

Final question. The last one. How did Marshal Ney die?

I'm waiting.

Hunting?

Zero.

One hundred lines by tomorrow: "Marshal Ney was shot."

Get out.

Boniface. Come here, boy.

Here, as a reward for your essay.

Give it to Mrs. Marie and you'll get a cookie.

You knew Ney had been shot, eh?

Of course, sir. Just like Napoleon.

Get out.

Hold on, Mr. Morhange.

I saw you taking notes during class.

This is a rare occurrence indeed. Bring me your notebook.

Charming.

Read it. Admire the spelling.

"Mr. Rachin eats shit by the bushel."

He wrote "Mr.?"

No.

Action-reaction, Mr. Mathieu.

Lock-up.

Come on.

- Gentlemen, enjoy your meal. - Thank you.

Are you hungry, Ppinot?

Now you can eat.

Ppinot?

He's an orphan.

His parents died during the Occupation.

- How did they die? - I don't know.

The kid thinks his father will come for him on a Saturday.

No one ever comes on Saturday.

So we tell him he'll come

next Saturday, and so on.

It'd be easier to tell him the truth.

We must have told him He won't listen.

times.

Now we let him wait by the gate. Let him enjoy himself.

Be quiet!

Did you see that? Action-reaction.

Meaning?

Action.

Reaction.

There's a visitor for young Morhange.

Morhange is in lock -up.

No visitors for the punished. You know the rules.

Go tell his visitor then.

Good day, madame.

Good day.

I'm the new prefect.

I'm Pierre Morhange's mother.

Clment Mathieu.

I know this isn't the right day, but it's the only time I could...

- No, that's not the problem. - Has he been punished again?

No, nothing like that...

...but he's not here.

What do you mean?

They took him to the dentist. He had a toothache.

A toothache?

Yes, but nothing serious. He'll be back tonight.

I can't wait. I'm going back to work at

Can I leave something for him?

Of course.

Her name is Violette. Violette Morhange.

A single mother at her wits' end about her son,

a thieving introvert expelled from school because he kept running away.

When Pierre was sent to Fond de I'tang against his mother's wishes,

she told the judge, "At least he'll get a hot meal twice a day."

January

th. The experience begins.

In Brittany, the hats are...

In Brittany, the hats are round

That's why I'm Brittany bound

Soprano. Go left.

Leclerc.

He is born, the Holy Child Let us greet His coming

Almost in tune. Alto, go left.

Delaire.

Three miles on foot What does it use?

Three miles on foot eats up your shoes

Do it again.

Four miles on foot What does it use?

Four miles on foot eats up your shoes

I was right. Bass, go right.

Ricoeur.

I've got tobacco in my pouch

I'll give it away, not today

Smoking is strictly forbidden. Alto, left.

Illouz.

Love is a gypsy child

That obeys no one's laws

Soprano, of course. Left.

Very well. Ppinot.

I don't know any songs.

That's fine. I'll teach you some.

In the meantime, you can be Assistant Chorus Master.

Over there.

Boniface.

Marshal Ptain, here we are

- Who taught you that? - My grandfather.

A little old -fashioned. Left.

Clment.

Citizens to arms Display your charms

Enough. Right.

My camp counselor's a jerk

He doesn't do any work

Go left.

Cuckoo, booboo Cuckoo, booboo

Good. Alto.

Strong beat.

Strong beat.

Show me, Corbin.

Sorry, there's no such note. Come here.

Mr. Ppinot, hand me the score.

Thank you. Open your hands.

Hold them like this.

Good. You can be our lectern.

Baton, Mr. Ppinot.

Thank you.

Get ready. On three...

Again.

That's it.

One, two, three, four.

Le Querrec's on bread and water...

Every night, I make them practice a simple tune of my own.

Carpentier has lost his way

Fond de I'Etang is where we're stuck, just our luck

Fond de I'Etang is where we'll be for all eternity

Not bad.

It wasn't Mozart, but I had their attention now.

From now on, I would need the support of my superiors.

What?

A chorus?

Yes.

My poor man, you've completely lost it.

A chorus. You won't get a single note from them or I'm the biggest fool...

Please, Headmaster, don't finish your sentence.

Why not?

They're singing already.

Really?

Just a few notes.

Why ask my permission if you're already doing it?

I don't like your manners.

- Headmaster... - You're annoying me.

I have other things on my mind.

Very well. I enjoy a good laugh.

Make them sing.

But if everything goes sour, you'll lose your job.

Thank you for your support, Headmaster.

February

th.

As we begin rehearsals, Rachin starts on Morhange.

As soon as he's out of lock -up, he lowers the axe:

one month of community work.

From the beginning. Get ready.

Hey, skivvy. Don't forget my bed.

February

th.

We're visited by Dr. Dervaux, a psychiatrist.

He brought us a gift.

We've decided to take this boy out of St. Frol Reformatory

to study his capacity to adapt to a... more liberal environment.

Unlike most of his classmates,

Pascal Mondain has begun to read and write.

At any rate, he can speak more or less normally.

We assessed his potential with the Bi net-Simon Test.

The Binet -Simon.

We also administered the Rorschach and Drss Fables.

- Excellent. - As you know, this test...

That test sorted children into seven different categories:

normal, adequate,

borderline, mildly, moderately or severely retarded.

And finally, imbeciles.

Mondain scored within the borderline zone.

He isn't actually mad, but I should warn you...

According to his profile, he's a gregarious pervert.

Interesting.

And what does that mean?

Well...

- Doctor? - A tendency to be cruel, parasitic,

destructive and above all... Above all, a mythomaniac.

- There you go. - The place is full of t hem.

Here the children face non-specialized methods of discipline.

Mondain's integration will provide a good case study.

Happy to oblige.

We'll try to meet your scientific requirements.

Gentleman, this fellow is in your hands.

- Will you stay for lunch? - Gladly.

Take good care of him.

Action-reaction.

You're not allowed to smoke.

For the experience to succeed, I had to get the upper hand.

You really look like an idiot.

You'd better behave or you'll get what's coming to you.

All right.

What's coming?

You probably know a song, right?

Yeah, but...

But?

You won't like it.

Why don't you try me? Come here.

Come on.

I'm listening.

One summer day I took out my knob

To give myself a nice hand job

- All right. - Up yours I go

All right.

Told you so.

Not bad.

You'll need to practice, but you have a good baritone.

What?

Baritone. It's not an insult.

When you sing, your voice is low -pitched.

Go to the back with the basses.

- Fuck. - And forget about the fucking.

Next one to laugh gets punched out.

Whenever you're ready, Mondain.

He's allowed back in class.

And here's Ppinot. You forgot him by the gate.

What's wrong, Ppinot? It's not Saturday.

By the way,

when you write to your family...

I don't have any.

Well, for those who do,

remind them that visits are on the first and third Thursday of the month.

Morhange, you're not paying attention.

- What did I just sa y? - I don't know.

I said, you could write your mother telling her that she can see you

on the first or third Thursday of the month. Or even both days.

Understood? But the punished can't have visitors, so be careful.

I don't want to see the old goats.

Maybe Morhange wants to see his mother.

Maybe he's not the only one.

See, Morhange? We have a real chorus.

- I don't care. - Why don't you care?

Let's hear your voice. Sing for me. Do...

Go ahead.

You want to go back? Your range, quickly.

Coarseness doesn't suit you, kid.

We can't all be like Mondain.

All right. From the top.

- Where are you going? - I need to pee.

Mondain, wait.

- Corbin. - Can I go pee too, sir?

Fine, everyone out.

And be quiet. Quiet.

You have a nice voice, beautiful.

Want a drag?

They left you all alone?

I'll protect you.

Wait for me.

We're the same.

My parents are a couple of buggers.

Your mother's the same.

She got rid of you to have some fun.

No, she's working.

- So the others are telling the truth? - What?

They say she's a whore.

I'll rearrange your face.

Get out.

You're a dead man.

Really?

That day, Morhange missed the : roll call.

No one ever knew where he went, but he'd come back.

That was the important part.

What are you doing there?

I can't go up.

What do you mean, you can't go up?

Why not?

I have no money.

You need money to sleep? That doesn't make sense.

It's Mondain.

He won't let me come up unless I give him money.

We have to be careful.

At my last place, the prefect caught me.

- So I had to take care of him. - How?

With a bayonet. He bled like a pig.

- You killed him? - Kind of, yeah.

It's no different here. Chrome Dome had better watch out.

- Mathieu isn't so bad. - Yeah, right.

They sing you a lullaby and when you're asleep, they start pawing you.

We've got to kill their kind.

Good evening, gentlemen.

- Enjoy your meal. - Sir, I swear I didn't do anything.

You keep good company, Corbin.

Get out.

Forget about the feast.

I won't tell on you. A gift.

But I'm warning you: don't speak to Ppinot again.

Don't go near him. Don't even look at him.

Do you understand?

One look in his direction, and your life will turn into a nightmare.

See on your way

Forgotten kids who've strayed

Give them a helping hand

Lead them to new horizons Help them understand

Feel, in the depths of despair

A surging wave of hope

The fervor of life

The glorious path

What are you doing, Morhange?

Nothing, sir.

So I heard voices? I must be tired.

Section

of the interior rules:

Students will not enter a classroom without supervision.

Mr. Rachin would make you do lines by tomorrow morning.

And who knows what he'd tell your mother.

I don't give a damn about my mother.

- Why? Tell me. - I'll tell you nothing.

Wait. I'm not through. That's a little too easy.

You pay for everything here. Ask Ppinot.

Morhange, strangely enough, the things you do don't resemble you.

Running away, fighting, pretending to be a hoodlum.

Your classmates may laugh, but I won't. I'm not playing along.

Starting tomorrow, you will attend every chorus practice

and take a music lesson every day.

Go to bed now.

Go on.

March

rd.

He can't possibly know, but I do. His voice is a miracle.

The rare promise of an exceptional gift.

Please go out quietly.

I said quietly.

Gradually, as my chorus takes shape,

I bring my new singer out of his shell.

Childish delights

Too soon forgotten and erased

A golden light that burns forever

At the end of the path

Feel, in the depths of despair

A surging wave of hope

The fervor of life

The glorious path

Get your arithmetic notebooks.

You're the one making them sing?

Yes, sir.

- Is that a critici sm? - Of course not.

I adore music. Occasionally I even sing a little.

Really?

Why are we waiting? Let's get happy

Why are we waiting? Let's have a ball

- Have a nice day. - You too, dear colleague.

Arithmetic. Page

Good day.

Good day, madame.

- Pierre has been told. He's coming. - Is something wrong?

Everything's fine.

- What about his teeth? - Not a problem anymore.

Did you tell him I came for a visit?

No.

Why not?

I thought I'd better not. Pierre is very sensitive...

...and gifted.

At acting like an idiot, yes.

Not exclusively. By the way, I need to talk to you.

Singing? No one taught him.

It's a gift. We have to do something.

Hello.

I'll leave you two alone. Visit him whenever you like.

I told her you went to the dentist last time.

Don't give me away.

- So you're a good singer? - Yeah.

That man seems to think you're doing well.

Is he nice to you?

He's all right.

I brought you some clean clothes

and I made your chocolate cake.

Are you happy?

April. Those children inspire me.

I knew that one day, someone would play my music.

My name is Clment Mathieu.

I'm a musician and each night, I compose for them.

Like a caress on the ocean

Lightly lands the gull

On the rocks of a sunken isle

Ephemeral winter breeze

At last your cold breath fades away

Far into the mountains high

Face the wind and spread your wings

In the gray eastern dawn

Find a path to the rainbow

And spring will reveal itself to you

Calmly

On the ocean

No good, sir?

It was nice.

Very nice.

Move, you swine.

Little shit. Move.

Move.

- What did he do? - He stole my watch.

I caught him in my bedroom. So I brought him to Rachin.

Action-reaction.

- Where are you taking him? - Lock-up. Fifteen days. Move.

- Wait. - Wait for what?

He's my only baritone.

Yes, Headmaster?

I found more graffiti in the...

Forgive them, Headmaster. It's just a wild ball.

Make way.

Mathieu, Chabert...

...you're with me.

May. With each passing week, I take in new victories.

Wake-up time. Get up.

- Leclerc. - Yeah?

- We're still friends? - Yeah, why?

Five and three add up to what?

- Fifty-three. - Are you sure?

- Yeah. - Thanks.

Perhaps it's an illusion,

but even our headmaster seems to be changing.

Five.

Look, it's old Maxence.

Nobody move.

Smile.

Come on. Come out, Mondain.

It's over, kid.

Come on. One, two...

Chabert, I just told Mr. Rachin that Mathieu's chorus is sensational.

Hurry up.

- I'm tired. - You're always tired.

- What did he say? - "Get lost." That's it.

Where's Mondain?

You didn't notice he was gone before the run?

He attended roll call this morning, Headmaster. He left later.

No one goes out for the rest of the year.

- How much did he take? - Almost francs.

How will I pay our suppliers?

I should never have taken him.

All for the sake of an experience. Experience my...

Just like your music.

I won't order coal for the boiler until next week.

In the meantime, I'm calling the police.

When Rachin in his coffin lay

His cock was hard, they say

His cock was his last bid to lift up the coffin lid

Yes, indeed, he's a funny breed

Singing is really developing their minds, Mathieu.

Very impressive.

They've spent three weeks without hot water.

Cold water activates the circulation. Get out.

By the way, Mathieu, forget the chorus.

- But, Headmaster... - Thank you, Mr. Mathieu.

Give me the police.

I don't know what to do about the chorus,

but for the kids, we can use wood.

We're out of wood.

Here.

The headmaster's private stock.

Chabert. Action -reaction.

Chabert surprised me.

I used to think he was Rachin's zealous double,

but I discovered that he was a nice guy

for whom sports and music were the key elements of national unity.

Le Querrec, are you invisi ble?

With his help, I'm organizing the resistance.

Our chorus is going underground.

You tend to lower your pitch at the end of a verse.

For the last time, please detach every single note.

It's late. Let's stop.

Sir, what about the second part?

- I didn't teach you the solo. - I learned it.

How could you learn it?

All right. Second part.

Get out.

On May just after Mondain came back.

- Where's the money? - I don't know.

- So who stole it? - It wasn't me.

Do you want more?

So?

- He's been hitting him? - For half an hour.

- He's crazy. - And he's wasting his time.

The boy won't talk.

Very well.

Let's start from the beginning.

Where's the money?

Speak!

Where's the money?

Let him go!

Let him go.

Calm down.

Calm down!

The boy just confessed. Excellent. I'm calling the police.

You're going to see new horizons, my boy.

With new guards and brand -new bars.

In order to spare the children's fragile trust,

we hid Mondain's fate from them.

Officially, he had gone back to his old school.

One hen

produces an average...

...of

eggs a year.

Well-fed...

...and kept... - I saw Rachin's daughters today.

Naked?

- No. ...inside a well -ventilated...

...and clean henhouse, the same hen will lay

eggs.

Under such conditions, how many more eggs could...

...a farmer get...

...out of her nine hens?

Nice day.

It's nice to feel the sun. Summer will soon be here.

Pierre is a constant source of surprise to me.

I wanted to thank you for helping him.

I'm doing it for you too.

I mean, if Pierre is doing well, you're doing well, so...

- Let me. - It's nothing.

It's only ink.

- Why are you such an ass? - You want to send us to lock -up?

What's going on?

Why are you hitting him?

Tell me, Bbert.

Because Morhange threw the ink.

You couldn't just shut up?

I'm ashamed of you, Pierre.

Wait.

It doesn't matter. It's only ink.

It's just pride because you're beautiful.

Beautiful?

You're nothing like the other mothers who come here.

Because I live alone?

So do I.

- But you have no children. - No.

In fact, I've got

kids.

When you come here, they see the woman of their dreams.

Well, the mother they've all imagined.

It's different for Pierre.

You are his mother.

Like any other child, he doesn't like to share.

We have to get him out of there.

- He should go to music school. - I want him to learn a good trade.

Music is a good trade, as long as you've been well taught.

He could go to the Conservatory in Lyon.

I'd follow his progress to prevent any bad habits.

Even there, he could meet mediocre teachers.

And later?

He'll become who he should be.

Pierre is special, and I'll do anything to help him achieve his dreams.

I need your help too.

I understand.

Thank you.

No, it's all wrong.

What's the matter? Are you asleep?

Boniface, your posture.

How can you sing that way? Stand up straight.

From "Such a sweet concert".

What about my solo?

What solo?

My solo.

Your solo, right. It's gone.

Your voice isn't bad, but nobody's indispensable.

I don't care if you sing or not. We can do it without you. Listen.

Start from...

Let's start from O night.

O Night

Bring to

The Earth

The enchanting calm

Of your mystery

Mathieu.

- You're going to get it, sir. - Mr. Chabert said he was in town.

Thank you, children. You can go outside.

You do know that you're annoying me?

Headmaster, I assure you, all their homework is done.

Our lady benefactresses heard about your chorus.

A personal letter from the Countess. She's coming on Sunday, with friends.

- They want to hear this. - Wonderful.

Well, it's nice.

I can imagine the scene. Airs and graces, music.

Some pastries perhaps?

I have to bear the brunt of your idiocies.

Headmaster, you have to admit music doesn't interfere with discipline.

- We've had fewer problems lately. - Chance.

- I don't believe in chance, Headmaster. - I realize that.

Who else could have told the Foundation?

I did.

You can write?

- Mr. Maxence acted for the best... - Spare me your comments.

I don't like your manners, Mathieu.

You don't like anything, Headmaster.

Mr. Rachin. You're wanted in the visiting room.

Later.

This is for you.

Sometimes I think we should have let Mondain strangle him.

Violette was thanking me for helping her son.

She wanted to speak to me privately to share some important news

at the Caf de la Place, on the th, at : .

I wrote to the Conservatory in Lyon. I'm acquainted with the director.

He was very nice about it. He'll be happy to give him an audition

and if he's admitted, he'll try very hard to get him a scholarship.

I believe things are about to change for the better.

Really?

Since I met you,

I... well...

...my life has... How can I say it?

Changed dramatically?

Yes.

Thanks to you.

- It's such a surprise. - I'd lost faith too.

Maybe I shouldn't get my hopes up yet.

You can trust me.

You did bring me luck.

Luck?

I met someone.

He's an engineer. From Lyon, of all things.

I met him at the caf. He's building a bridge in the area.

Are you all right?

I'm fine. It's a great opportunity for you and for Pierre.

Don't be upset, but I have to go.

I'd like the three of us

to have lunch someday.

You can tell him all about Pierre. Will you do it?

Why not?

Goodbye.

Goodbye.

Thank you for everything.

I almost forgot.

Don't tell Pierre right away.

Excuse me. May I take the chair?

- Yes, of course. - Thank you.

Countess, a few flowers.

I didn't understand everything, but I got the feelings.

Thank you, child.

Take these.

Countess, let me introduce Mr. Mathieu, our prefect,

who's in charge of the chorus.

- Countess. - Well done, sir.

Mr. Rachin's humane teaching style is of great interest to us,

and we thank you for your support.

By the way, who decided to form a chorus?

- Well... - I did, Countess.

I did.

Indeed, Countess,

I'm very happy to help such an understanding headmaster.

Well, let them sing.

He's too modest to enjoy compliments.

- Very true. - What are they going to sing for us?

Rameau's Hymn to Night, Countess.

It must be marvelous.

Excuse me?

Who's the little boy standing aside? Has he been punished?

- That one? - Yes.

He's a special case.

May I?

O Night

Bring to

The Earth

The enchanting calm

Of your mystery

The shadow which follows you

Is so sweet

It is such a sweet concert

Your voices chanting hope

Your power is so great

Transforming all into a dream

O Night

O leave still

To the Earth

The enchanting calm

Of your mystery

The shadow which follows you

Is so sweet

Is there anything more beautiful

Than a dream?

Is there any truth

Sweeter

Than hope?

Morhange's eyes followed my tempo,

and in them, I suddenly read many things:

pride and the joy of my forgiveness,

but also something quite new to him.

A feeling of gratitude.

First day of summer.

Our chorus has a new member.

I'm sorry, I missed the reprise. My fault. Go on.

All right. Again.

In their eyes, I can see the desire to flee,

to build a hut way up in the sky.

This fine weather makes them sad.

You have to see this. It's important.

While I was cleaning graffiti off the toilet walls,

I lifted a stone and found this.

- That's Corbin's harmonica. - And that.

It's

or more.

No one knew about your hideaway.

So don't tell me it was there by chance.

You know they expelled Mondain because of the theft.

I didn't know.

That's true. You didn't know.

Now you know.

Why? What did you want to do with it?

If I tell you, will you tell anyone else?

No one.

I swear.

I wanted to buy...

To buy what?

A hot air balloon.

I don't know who took it, but it proves Mondain's innocence.

He'd never have left without the money.

I'll investigate when I come back.

But don't worry about it, Mathieu.

Even if Mondain was innocent, it won't last. We can't help his type.

- What about justice? - Let her take care of him.

Headmaster, wait for me. Wait for me.

Are you leaving too?

I'm getting a lift. I'm spending the holidays with relatives.

At my sister's house.

They have a piano.

Do you know why Rachin went to Lyon?

I think he's supposed to discuss the balance she et with the committee.

- No? - Yes.

But he's mostly going to run after a promotion and a medal.

Do you think he'll get them?

He's really smart. He's going to present an impeccable report

without saying a word about all the horrible things.

He'll even claim the success of the chorus for himself.

Success?

Certainly. I heard them. They're good.

Sir, is it true that Langlois left with the head?

Yes. Chabert and Carpentier have taken two weeks' holidays.

- We're in charge. - There's no class today?

No.

- What are we going to do?

- Take a nap.

I have a better idea.

Thank you.

I don't want to...

- Your rosette? - Yes.

The bird is in the nest, Mr. Rachin.

I can't thank you enough.

I'm sorry, Headmaster. You're wanted on the telephone.

I'm sorry.

Headmaster!

- Do something. My son is up there. - Let me through.

The fire had caught under the eaves.

The dormitories, where the children had last been seen, were in flames.

Sixty unfortunate children,

caught in a snare.

Rachin saw his promotion and his rosette

destroyed before his very eyes.

But, suddenly...

After breakfast, we used the door leading out of the vegetable patch

to avoid old Marie and the villagers.

We went to the forest of Lignan.

For what purpose?

A treasure hunt. They were so happy.

I don't need to tell you how disappointed I am, Mr. Maxence.

This was entirely my idea, Headmaster.

Mr. Maxence never stopped trying to dissuade me.

Not very convincing.

We could also consider the fact that we saved the children's lives.

If you hadn't left the school, it wouldn't have caught fire.

I don't even know why I'm listening to you.

Mr. Maxence, owing to your long years of service, I'll just suspend you.

As for you, Mr. Mathieu, you're fired.

For breaking the rules.

Then you should fire me too.

You don't get to decide.

It's nice of you, Mr. Maxence, but you're needed here.

Think about the children, since this gentleman never does.

I've settled up with you. Here.

You're leaving right now, on the : bus.

You're allowed no contact with your former students. None.

- What? - Mr. Maxence, see to it.

Get out.

Headmaster, be fore I go, I'll tell you what I think of you.

- I already know, Mathieu. - You're an incompetent,

- truly evil man. - What about them?

They're not here by choice.

Neither am I. I never wanted to be a teacher.

Don't tell me you wanted to come to that miserable place.

- You had other ambitions? So did I. - Don't take it out on them.

Do you think I like being a warden?

Someone has to do it.

Pack up your bags and go to Paris. Make the Ministry rounds.

Knock-knock. "Hello. My name is Mathieu .

We need real teachers instead of washouts."

Fight for the cause

if you believe in it, Mathieu.

Saint Mathieu.

You're nothing but a failed musician.

A prefect. A small prefect. Small, small, small.

"What do you do, Mr. Mathieu?" "I'm a prefect."

Small. Small. Small.

You're crazy.

I'm tired.

Go to the devil.

No, I'm leaving him behind.

I had hoped a few students would break the rules to say goodbye.

I saw no on e.

The wisdom of these children came across as indifference.

And Morhange...

Enough.

"See you soon, Mr. Mathieu."

"Goodbye, Chrome Dome."

On the first note, I recognized Boniface's careful script.

The spelling mistakes were Ppinot's, of course.

This one, filled with music notes, came from Morhange.

And this one...

And that one...

Be silent! Make them stop!

The door's locked.

Open up!

Right then I felt a sudden burst ofjoy and optimism.

I wanted to share it with the entire world.

But who would have listened?

No one even knew I was alive.

The great artist would soon give way to the ordinary man.

I'm Clment Mathieu,

a failed musician, an unemployed prefect.

"I'm Clment Mathieu,

a failed musician, an unemployed prefect."

What happened next?

He never finished his journal.

But I can tell you the story.

Ppinot answered my questions.

The following day, on the way back, my childhood caught me by the throat.

When Mathieu was fired, my mother took me back home.

We left for Lyon, where I was admitted to the Conservatory.

The engineer tried to send me to boarding school.

She refused. He left us.

Chabert, Langlois and old Maxence joined forces to expose Rachin's abuse.

The children were questioned and Rachin was fired.

Clment Mathieu gave music lessons for the rest of his life,

without courting notoriety.

Everything he did, he kept for himself.

For himself? No, not quite.

Mr. Mathieu.

Mr. Mathieu.

Wait a bit.

Mr. Mathieu.

What are you doing?

Can you take me with you?

Sir.

I can't do that. You have to go back

to school. They'll punish you.

Please?

- Can we go now? - Coming.

It's forbidden. I can't take you with me.

Go back.

Go on.

Go on.

Ppinot had been right all along.

Mathieu was fired on a Saturday.