As Peter Bradshaw's Guardian review says:
This story builds quietly, almost invisibly, through the film, and culminates in the disciplinary hearing in which Souleymane's non-French-speaking mother is present and in which the gloweringly silent and defiant pupil must translate her passionate and heartbreaking defence of him as a good boy. Like the rest of the film, this scene is natural and unforced and effortlessly persuasive, but it is the non-dramatic sequences that I somehow found the most gripping. François has a lesson in which he simply demonstrates at some length the imperfect subjunctive tense.Strongly recommended! Don't think it could have been filmed without the previous example of Etre et Avoir which takes a junior school, this one is very much teenagers and, for me, throughout, the shadow of yesterday's events in a German school darkened the picture.
Apparently the Bégaudeau novel is even slower paced, making it not to difficult for non-native French speakers to get to grips with.
A dinner in (too much) haste on the way back to the station at Don Giovanni's - risotto - delicious as ever!