SPEAK UP Unclassified 15+
A group of teenagers from Paris’s impoverished suburbs go through high-intensity training to compete for the title of France's best young orator. The catch: they’ve rarely spoken in public before.
The French approach the art of oratory with unflinching seriousness, and nowhere is this more evident than in the ferocious competition of the Concours Eloquentia, a tournament of public speaking for the country’s university students. Into this rhetorical battle dome stride four very different teens: a formerly homeless student; a staunchly feminist Muslim; an aspiring actor; and a girl who’s lost both her parents. But not just anyone can win the Eloquentia and the training they’ll endure will challenge them in ways none of them could have imagined.
A break-out sensation when it was released in France, Speak Up is a rousing documentary from filmmakers Stéphane de Freitas and Ladj Ly. An illuminating showcase of youthful creativity with a defiantly egalitarian streak, Speak Up is a showcase for the power of the words we speak – as long as we learn how to use them.
"Uplifting and authentic… Speak Up reveals that there may be a new, far more ethnically diverse generation ready to step up and take the reins. You just have to listen to them." – Hollywood Reporter
MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 12+
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