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Florida Premiere

Once in a Lifetime

Directed by Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar

France | 105 minutes | 2015

French with English subtitles

A dedicated history teacher at a French high school uses lessons of the Holocaust in an effort to motivate her troubled students in this uplifting schoolhouse drama based on a true story. A teacher with 20 years of experience is determined to give the best education she can to her underprivileged inner-city pupils. Overcoming their apathy, however, is proving to be more difficult than expected. Frustrated but undaunted, she challenges her multicultural classroom with a unique assignment: a national competition on the theme of child victims of the Nazi concentration camps. The project is initially met with extreme resistance, until a face-to-face encounter with a Holocaust survivor changes the class’s attitude dramatically. Despite their long-shot odds of winning, these once-rebellious teens soon begin to see one another – and themselves – in a whole new light. A potent and moving antidote to the devaluation of education in an age of ignorance, Once in a Lifetime demonstrates the enduring impact of the Holocaust in transforming future generations.

Director Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar
Countries of Production France
Year of Presentation 2015
Language(s) French with English subtitles
Premiere Status Florida Premiere
Runtime 105 minutes
Principal Cast Ariane Ascaride, Ahmed Dramé, Noémie Merlant, Geneviève Mnich

Nominated for the César Award

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