Monsieur Lazhar (12A)

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:

Observer review: