Zero de Conduite (Zero for Conduct) (1933) By Pringle, Thomas Patrick
Directed by Jean Vigo, Zero for Conduct is a short film about young boarding school students rebelling against their teachers’ strictures. The film is an autobiographical take on Vigo’s youth and an homage to the spirit of his infamous anarchist father, Miguel Almereyda. Accordingly, Zero for Conduct was initially banned for its lawless attitude, and was only released in 1945, more than a decade after Vigo’s early death. The film is known for its impish charm and effervescent style; it blends a scathing criticism of the harsh conditions of French boarding schools with an anti-authoritarian anarchist politics, presented through the children’s eyes.