Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Monsieur Lazhar tells the poignant story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher. The movie, written and directed by Philippe Falardeau &ndas ...
The truths we tell our children: Monsieur Lazhar
Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Monsieur Lazhar tells the poignant story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher. The movie, written and directed by Philippe Falardeau – at his fourth feature film –, is an adaptation from the play of the same title by Evelyne de la Chenelière. After the premieres at the Toronto (Best Canadian Feature Film), Locarno (Prix du Public Award, Variety Piazza Grande Award) and Sundance (Official Selection) festivals, Monsieur Lazhar won the UPC Audience Award of the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012. Depicting the encounter between two distant worlds and the power of self-expression, Philippe Falardeau returns to the socially engaged filmmaking that marked his beginnings with The Left-Hand Side of the Fridge. Using great sensitivity and humor, the Canadian director follows a humble man who is ready to transcend his own loss in order to accompany children beyond the silence and taboo of death. "Monsieur Lazhar is a film about the complex organic entity that is a school," stated Falardeau. "What particularly interested me was that the mourning process is taking place within the context of an encounter between an immigrant and us. And so the school is going to work through this tragedy thanks to a 'free electron', a foreigner who is also going through his own mourning process. Therefore, I like to think the film is rather a response to pervading views on how to integrate immigrants. As far as I'm concerned, there isn't a 'how'. Let's live together with the immigrant, in everything we may experience: eat, drink, laugh, work, live… and overcome hardships together. That's what integration is; it isn't anything else. It's not a matter of establishing policies."
Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant, is hired to replace a primary school teacher who has suffered a tragic death. As the class embarks on a long healing process, nobody at the school suspects Bachir's painful past, or that he fears being deported at any moment.
Genres: Drama, Comedy
Country: Canada (2011)
Release Date: 31-08-2012 (Italy) 04-13-2012 (USA)
Evelyne De La Chenelière