Nominated for Best Picture in a Foreign Language at the Academy Awards
Dir: Philippe Falardeau, Canada, 2011, 1 hr 34 mins. Starring: Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nelisse and Emilieu Neron
Moving Image working party member Adrian Birch writes of this film:
Briefly described, Monsieur Lazhar sounds like a highly contrived movie. An asylum-seeking Algerian restaurateur, whose wife and family have been killed by terrorists, passes himself off as a teacher to help the staff and pupils of a francophone school in Montreal come to terms with the suicide of a troubled female teacher. In fact it is a serious, unsentimental film of real insight into loss, grief, guilt, exile and the true meaning of education. Fellag, a prominent Algerian actor now working in exile in France, imbues the compassionate, indomitably cheerful Bachir Lazhar with a deep humanity. Equally the French-Canadian director elicits excellent performances from the children.
Independent review: http://ind.pn/Kz2gnp