Hitzefrei Part II – The Reprise

Today, school finished early again due to the heat. It’s no longer as unrelentingly hot as yesterday, but very humid and oppressive.

In theory, “hitzefrei” means no afternoon classes. However, when I dropped by my classroom to check for stray students, I found the entire group waiting for me. “Okay, folks, so we’ve got ‘hitzefrei’ today”, I said to them (they didn’t know about the “hitzefrei”, because they’d had the last two lessons off anyway), “So you can either go home or we watch a film in class, as scheduled.”

Guess what? They wanted to stay and watch a film. So we sat in an overheated classroom and watched Casino Royale on a DVD one kid had brought. I let the kids bring their own movies, provided they have a 12 certificate (I’m flexible on 16, but 18 is out) and are in English with subtitles. Bond films are okay for that age – the violence is too over the top and the sex usually mild.

Watching the film, I realized that I had never actually seen Casino Royale in full. It came out while I was completely in the thrall of my MA thesis and later on TV, I only caught snatches. What bothered me, particularly in the undubbed version, was that every bad guy was somehow dark-haired or dark-skinned and had a foreign accent (usually not matching the places they were supposed to be from), while the good guys were all blonde, blue-eyed and spoke with RP accents. Racist much, Mr Bond?

As usual, Judi Dench as M stole the film. Though thank to Ms. Dench my students now know what “bugger” means. “If you’re going to use it and someone asks you where you got that word from, please say you got it from a Bond film and not from me”, I told them.

I guess I should feel flattered that the kids would rather spend the afternoon with me (and Mr Bond) than go swimming at the lake. I still could’ve done without sitting in a sweltering classroom, though.

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