Monsieur Lazhar (2012)

6.9

Movie

Canada
French
Comedy, Drama
2011
PHILIPPE FALARDEAU
André Robitaille, Brigitte Poupart, Daniel Gadouas
94 min

What it's about

During a harsh Montréal winter, an elementary-school class is left reeling after its teacher commits suicide. Bachir Lazhar, a charismatic Algerian immigrant, steps in as the substitute teacher for the classroom of traumatized children. All the while, he must keep his personal life tucked away: the fact that he is seeking political refuge in Québec – and that he, like the children, has suffered an appalling loss.

The take

After the sudden death of a teacher, 55-year-old Algerian immigrant Bachir Lazhar is hired at an elementary school in Montreal. Struggling with a cultural gap between himself and his students at first, he helps them to deal with the situation, revealing his own tragic past. A strong portrait without any weird sentimentality. 11-year-old actress Sophie Nélisse makes her brilliant debut.

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