Prison For Children

Education in "Un Monde"


  • Roger Saul University of New Brunswick



bullying, childhood, early school socialization, prison form, school representation, school films, school relationships


Un Monde, a 2021 feature film, depicts the fictional story of Nora, a child first entering school. In the film viewers are perceptually thrust into the center of Nora’s experiences – all its imagery tightly frames her against blurred school backgrounds – a harrowing exercise that compels us to encounter the traumas of her school life as she does. Drawing on Foucault’s ‘prison form,’ this review essay explores how Un Monde innovates in imagining, from the subject-position of a child, how any young person can come to be systematically severed from the relationships that matter most to them, stripped of their dignity, and rendered isolated as an unwitting prisoner of a school’s normative values and functions. It suggests that Un Monde can add to our critical vocabularies of public education by offering insights into many of the masked principles – social division, secrecy, shame, dishonesty, distrust, bystanderdism, self-preservation – that can structure relationships there.

Author Biography

Roger Saul, University of New Brunswick

Roger Saul is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick, where he writes and teaches about the foundations of education, cultural studies, and sociocultural influences on teaching and learning. His recent writing appears in journals such as Radical Teacher; Multicultural Perspectives; Pedagogy, Culture and Society; the Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies; Ethnic and Racial Studies; and the Journal of Educational Thought.