The Teachers’ Lounge (2023)

The Teachers’ Lounge (2023)

PG-13

A tense classroom thriller that doubles as an allegory about the frightening complexity of our modern world

The Very Best

8.8

Movie

Germany
English, German, Polish
Drama
2023
İLKER ÇATAK
Anne-Kathrin Gummich, Antonia Luise Krämer, Eva Löbau
98 min

TLDR

If you’re a teacher who bought into the Dead Poet’s Society myth, consider this your rude awakening.

What it's about

Ms. Nowak (Leonie Benesch) tries her best to teach her sixth-grade class, but her attempts at democratic education are increasingly thwarted by the disturbance caused by a mysterious thief running amok in the school.

The take

The Teacher’s Lounge is one of those movies where a simple misunderstanding is blown out of proportion, so much so that it causes the fabric of a community to unravel into chaos. Aided by a precise score, it ticks like a timebomb, with every second filled with so much dread and anxiety you have to remind yourself to breathe. It’s an impeccable and taut thriller, but it also works as an allegory about modern-day surveillance and authority. Director İlker Çatak gives the Gen-Z students and their much older teachers a level field where they struggle for control, and the result is both bleak and funny. It’s often said that schools are a microcosm of the real world, but nowhere is that more apparent than here. 

What stands out

Benesch’s doe eyes guide you through it all, but when they inevitably crack under pressure, so do you. Also, does anyone else see the resemblance Benesch and Daisy Edgar-Jones?

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