At a Montréal public grade school, an Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom. While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is revealed.
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
Bryce Dallas Howard
Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant, is hired to replace an elementary school teacher who died tragically. While the class goes through a long healing process, nobody in the school is aware of Bachir's painful former life; nor that he is at risk of being deported at any moment. Adapted from Evelyne de la Cheneliere's play, Bachir Lazhar depicts the encounter between two distant worlds and the power of self-expression. Using great sensitivity and humor, Philippe Falardeau follows a humble man who is ready to transcend his own loss in order to accompany children beyond the silence and taboo of death. Written by
What happens when a class of 6th graders loses their beloved teacher to suicide? What happens when an Algerian immigrant applies to be their new teacher in a culture he is just beginning to understand? What is behind the teacher's stillness, his smile and his sad eyes? This film is a beautiful rendering of a stage play about love and loss, but also about hope. In this wonderfully-told story, the hope isn't trite, contrived or artificial. It's something you almost have to feel. It comes from the growing relationship between this strange teacher in a strange land, and his student children, so in need of his help.
The movie's cast is rich with great acting, by the kids of course, but here, if anything, they're outshone by Algerian actor Mohamed Fellag, whose face tells 1000 stories about where he has been and, perhaps, where he hopes to go.
The only things not perfect are the characters, for this writer and director have been too careful to give them - even the "best" of the children - no flaws. They are all more good than bad, but also complex in their own way, suffering the loss of one teacher and the growing pains of learning to learn from another.
This film gets my vote for Best Foreign Language Film, even over the excellent A Separation. Don't miss it!
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