FOCUS: (710 minutes)
Give the following overview of the movie “Les Miserable”:
Set during the French Revolution, this film tells the story of Jean Valjean, whose theft of a loaf of bread condemns him to an unjust prison sentence and subsequent life on the run. Valjean, now an exconvict, has recently been released from prison. An act of forgiveness and generosity on the part of a compassionate Roman Catholic Bishop turns the embittered Valjean around, changing the course of his life forever. Valjean becomes the mayor of a small town (Vigau) and as a caring businessman he struggles to forget the past. He manages to redeem his soul by becoming benevolentgiving manual and financial help to the weak, sick and poor.
After nine years, Valjean is horrified to discover that Javert a former guard of the Quarries of Toulon, where he served almost 20 years has arrived to be the head of Vigau’s police force. The icy chief inspector Javert, the man who tries “to live his life without breaking a single rule” is determined that Valjean has not changed and will always be a criminal. The film culminates in a final confrontation between the two in which Valjean is finally set free.
Show the movie clip.
CONNECT: (57 minutes)
Talk about the scene and discuss these questions:
• Why couldn’t Javert just leave Valjean alone and let him live his life?
• Why do you think Javert was so obsessed with trying to condemn Valjean, who is now a free man?
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