The French approach the art of oratory with unflinching seriousness, and nowhere is this more evident than in the ferocious competition of the Concours Eloquentia, a tournament of public speaking for the country’s university students. Into this rhetorical battle dome stride four very different teens: a formerly homeless student; a staunchly feminist Muslim; an aspiring actor; and a girl who’s lost both her parents. But not just anyone can win the Eloquentia and the training they’ll endure will challenge them in ways none of them could have imagined.
A break-out sensation when it was released in France, Speak Up is a rousing documentary from filmmakers Stéphane de Freitas and Ladj Ly. An illuminating showcase of youthful creativity with a defiantly egalitarian streak, Speak Up is a showcase for the power of the words we speak – as long as we learn how to use them.