Caussat, Colin, Bruel and Tabard successfully interrupt the school's ceremony and escape after inciting an uprising amongst their fellow students.
Due to this film's themes of social uprising and Director Jean Vigo's family history of anarchism, this film was banned until after World War II had ended. Much of the film was autobiographical, based on Vigo's childhood in similar schools.
The film centers on a boarding school for boys. The teachers, with the exception of the aloof and free-spirited Huguet (Jean Dasté), are incredibly strict and dismissive of the children. Three kids, Caussat (Louis Lefebvre), Colin (Gilbert Pruchon) and Bruel (Constantin Goldstein-Kehler) are often singled out for detention and given a "zero" grade for their conduct.
Caussat is seemingly orphaned, and Colin is the child of the destitute cook for the school. Meanwhile, Bruel has an implied homosexual (yet also very innocent) romance with another student named Tabard (Gérard de Bédarieux) The three students begin hatching a plan to flee the school. After Tabard is chastised by the School Headmaster for his relationship with Bruel, Tabard also assists them in their plans. Meanwhile, the Headmaster begins preparing for an annual celebration at which many dignitaries and alum will be in attendance. He specifically singles out the four boys and Huguet as potential risks to the security of the event.
The students grow more bold in resisting the authority of the teachers. During lunch, the children start a chant and food fight over being fed nothing but beans day after day. Things reach a head after a teacher creepily fondles Tabard in front of his classmates, causing Tabard to yell out "shit on you!" Tabard refuses to apologize when confronted by the Headmaster.
That night, the children rebel in their dorm, beating their teachers with pillows. The four children climb to the roof and replace the school flag with one of their own design. The next morning, the four kids strap their teacher to a bed in a symbolic crucifixion. At the ceremony with the dignitaries and alum, the foursome climb to the roof and throw garbage and debris at the adults. This causes the other school children and Huguet to cheer them on and also cause mischief. The Headmaster and other adults try to catch the ringleaders, but the foursome triumphantly escape over the rooftops.
Thanks Evan B!