Document Type

Teacher Resource

Publication Date


Unit Name

Using Storyboards to Explore Cultural Comparisons and Connections


Students most often see films as a consumable and not a resource from which one can learn about themselves and others. Students make a ten-image storyboard demonstrating a cultural adaptation, “une transposition culturelle”, for an American audience of one of the films. Non-historical films are better suited to this storyboard for a remake project. The cultural adaptation must demonstrate a very clear connection to American culture, experiences, and sensibilities, remain true to film’s original intent, and changes must be clear and logical. The characters’ roles, role of society and/or culture, setting (time and space), and ending must be clear and logical. The goals of making a storyboard cultural adaptation are to: 1. demonstrate understanding of the ideas addressed in the ideas and questions that guide the unit, 2. identify elements of the original film’s plot, characters, setting, and cultural values (products, practice, perspectives) that would and would not appeal to an American audience, and make needed changes, 3. identify what is important in the original film’s message, 4. justify their decisions, 5. make cultural comparisons and connections, 6. identify unexamined cultural and societal assumptions, or les idées reçues. This project is less interested in the “right” answer than in how students arrive at their answers, and that these be evidence based. The explanation provided is for a Youth and Identity unit, using the films Comme une image and Ma vie en rose. The film Chocolat (C. Denis), La promesse (L and J-P Dardenne), and Inch’Allah dimanche (Y. Benguigui) are films that can be used for this project for a France and Immigration unit.

Grade Level

Secondary Education, French IV-V


This project, which serves as a final assessment, is inspired by and adapted from the article by Sylvie Vanbaelen, “Statégies pour l’enseignement du cinéma africain” The French Review 78.3 (February 2005)



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