Thierry Michel takes us into the school benches of the Collège Saint-Martin on the outskirts of Liège (Belgium). This school takes on pupils who are excluded from all other schools in the region. Their teachers, driven by an enormous passion, never give up on any child.
The pupils at Collège Saint-Martin come from difficult backgrounds. Many grow up in poverty and broken families, many were expelled from others schools. We meet them during classes, in the schoolyard and in personal interviews. Like Mickaël, just released from prison after holding up a service station. Like Vanessa, whose father died of a drug overdose and who is eager to become a lawyer. Jérémy, brought up by his godmother ‘because my mother didn’t want me’. And wise Jamila, who is into girls and has come to the conclusion that ‘our soul is a part of God that was blown into us’.
They and many more interesting, stubborn, sweet and clumsy children are led by an extraordinary team of teachers. Struggling ones, strict ones, angry, gentle or forgiving ones, who all see every pupil for what they are. Like the ever optimistic principal says, warning a teacher not to judge too quickly: ‘We only know a small part of what these future adults are going through.’