Class Trip

Class Trip
Class Trip
Directed by Claude Miller
Written by Emmanuel Carrère
Starring Clement Van Den Bergh
Release date(s) 16 May 1998 (premiere at Cannes)
France 23 September 1998
United Kingdom 22 January 1999
Running time 96 minutes
Country France
Language French

Class Trip is a 1998 French film. Its original French title is La Classe de neige, which is the name given to class trips in the snow. It tells the story of a young boy on a school skiing trip who suffers anxiety attacks that bring on disturbing nightmares.



The story begins with Nicolas at ten years old and dreading the school ski trip. Nicolas was worried that he wouldn't fit in with the other boys. His overprotective father decides to take Nicolas by himself instead of going with the group. En route, Nicolas and his father pass the aftermath of an apparently fatal car accident. Seeing police ahead while the traffic had stopped, Nicolas' father becomes nervous and conceals all loose items within the car in the trunk – and we see that Nicolas' travel bag is next to several matching briefcases. Nicolas subsequently forgets his bag in his father's car, setting in motion a series of seemingly unrelated events.

He is taken under the wings of the class leader, Hodkann, the mysterious boy who all others look up to. Hodkann offers to protect Nicolas from harm if he will allow him to look in the trunk of Nicolas' mysterious fathers car. Nicolas refuses, but the two become friends anyway and Nicolas is never bullied. In one of Nicolas' day dreams it is suggested that he has developed a crush on Hodkann, protecting him from an imagined attack on the resort and letting him sleep in his lap. One of Nicolas main fears is wetting his bed, and the situation gets worse when he gets a bed just above Hodkann. At night Nicolas tries to stay awake but falls asleep, waking up from a wet dream but believing he has wet his pants. He leaves his bed to clean his clothes and while returning he discovers it snowing outside. Nicolas goes outside into the freezing cold and ends up locked out, and in desperation curls up inside the car of his ski instructor, Patrick. Before he drifts off to sleep he sees a van driving away. He is found in the morning by Patrick and is taken in to a study with a fever.

Later that day he goes to a café while the other boys are skiing. While in the café, police come looking for René, a young boy who is missing. That night while sleeping he has a nightmare. He dreams that he is at a theme park with Hodkann and Patrick and that he goes on a giant caterpillar while his little brother is looked after by another seemingly friendly man. Once he is on the caterpillar he sees his brother being walked to a white ambulance by the stranger. Later he is found outside the park after having one of his organs taken. The dream is poignant because Nicolas, months before, had not been allowed to go on a similar ride because it would have meant leaving one of the brothers with a stranger. After declining the strangers offer to watch the brother, Nicolas' father explained what sometimes happens to children in public places when their parents lose sight of them. At the end of the story Nicolas finds that his father was not in an accident as he had day dreamed, but rather that his father was a "monster" and abused children. (Although in the English subtitles it is never explained why the father has been arrested).

The movie ends with Nicolas being driven to his mothers home by Patrick, with the fate of his father and the friendship between Nicolas and Hodkann left to the viewers imagination.


  • Clément van den Bergh as Nicolas
  • Lokman Nalcakan as Hodkann
  • François Roy as The Father
  • Yves Verhoeven as Patrick


The film was entered into the 1998 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize.[1]


External links

Preceded by
Jury Prize, Cannes
Succeeded by
The Letter