Contemporary World Film Series 12: ‘MONSIEUR LAZHAR’, CANADA
20 Oct 2018
‘Contemporary World Film Series’ at TK park ‘MONSIEUR LAZHAR’, CANADA Directed by Philippe Falardeu
1Hr 34 Mins (French, with ENGLISH Sub-Titles) SATURDAY 20 OCT, 4:00 PM
Our last film of the year, is a moving and memorable tale from Canada, which won numerous awards around the world, including the Oscar Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012.
The story is set in icy winter, at a Montreal elementary school, and has a shock-opening with the unexpected suicide of a popular teacher. The young students are deeply affected, the staff try to help them out, while the Principal looks desperately for a replacement. That’s when the pleasant Bachir Lazhar walks in.
He’s an Algerian immigrant, who says he has plenty of teaching experience, and proceeds to start taking classes almost immediately. The rest of the film portrays the bitter-sweet moments, as Bachir tries to forge a relationship with his young students, in particular two youngsters- the traumatized Simon, who thinks he’s responsible for the teacher’s suicide, and Alice, who becomes his favorite pupil. The icy winter outside is a sharp contrast to the warmth of emotions in the classroom.
There are many barriers- cultural, educational, emotional, and of course, age. It is a learning experience for the Canadian students and the Algerian teacher.
What the students don’t know, is that Bachir has suffered a great loss himself. What the school authorities don’t know, is that he has secrets to hide.
In today’s world of refugees and immigrants, the movie offers many insights into their problems. It also offers a heart-warming portrait of Canada’s diverse and inclusive society.
The movie won 6 Genie Awards, which are the highest awards in Canada. It also won many Audience Awards at the top festivals of the world, and made it to the final round of the Oscars.
The Independent: ‘The Canadian French-language drama is a small, beautiful picture which stays with the viewer long after the credits have rolled.’
Los Angeles Times: ‘It’s difficult doing what ‘Monsieur Lazhar’ does, conveying the delicate reality of human emotions in a way that engages without being overdone.’
Toronto Star: ‘There are no heroes or villains in this transcendent film. There are just adults and kids struggling with a reality shaded by euphemisms, secrets, and loss.’
Slant Magazine: ‘Like the film ‘The Class’, this film utilizes a classroom as a closed laboratory for conflict, discussion and resolution.’
The screening of ‘MONSIEUR LAZHAR’ is supported by the Embassy of Canada, who will serve Snacks and Drinks after the screening.
The Ambassador of Canada, HE Ms Donica Pottie will introduce the film.