Ballet Film Facilitates Language Learning

Jessica Rosiak, Staff Writer

Honors and AP French classes visited Clay Theatre of San Francisco on November 13.

The world language students took a bus into the heart of the city to see “Polina,” a film about ballet. The story follows the journey of a Russian dancer who travels to Paris to follow her dream.  The dialogue in the film is mostly French, but some Russian is included because of the dancer’s background.

“It connects to the curriculum because ballet is a traditional dance form that grew out of Paris and Russia, so it covers the cultural part of it, and it covers the linguistic part of it: the speaking and communication part by listening to the film and speaking to the director in French,” said French teacher Ed Willy. 

“[The movie] was about a girl pursuing her dreams, and so it’s good to see such a motivational film for other teenagers. It was also good to hear the pace of actual fluent people because it is not the same pace as you are talking in class,” said junior Lauren Landry.

After the movie, director Valérie Müller answered questions from the audience in French.

“We had 10 questions from our students. There were maybe 200-300 students there, and we asked most of the questions,” said Willy.

“I asked [the director] if she had filmed any other films and she said that she filmed a documentary and other small things,” said junior Arielle Szeto. “It was a really good movie and I highly recommend it.”