In the film, one of these boys, Jean Bonnet/Kippelstein (Raphael Fetjoe), becomes both academic rival and friend to the main character, Julien Quentin (Gaspard Manesse). Realizing only that there is something different about his new friend, Julien barely comprehends the concept of race and cannot understand why Jews should be hated. Of course, these things don’t come naturally, they have to be taught. That’s at the core of the film, but the thrust of the story has more to do with childhood guilt — real and imagined. The film is ambiguous as to whether or not Julien is actually responsible for accidentally giving away the secret he pieces together about his friend. But it is not ambiguous about the burden of guilt, or about the potential danger that comes with being innocent.
Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Au Revoir, les Enfants Friday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library). Info:828- 273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com