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929 Ratings

Monsieur Lazhar

Bachir Lazhar

Directed by Philippe Falardeau
Canada, 2011


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.

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Monsieur Lazhar Directed by Philippe Falardeau

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2012 | Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Locarno International Film Festival

2011 | Winner: Audience Award (Piazza Grande)

Toronto International Film Festival

2011 | Winner: Best Canadian Feature Film

Critics reviews

One of the film’s feats of narrative economy is its refusal to prescribe some too-easy solution. There seems to be an understanding here that bereavement and politics both are overbearing enough in real life; movies about them do well when maintaining some poise. Because Monsieur Lazhar accumulates complexity by hewing to simplicity, its sheen of white, wintry-soft light brings clarity instead of diffusion.
August 28, 2016
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Like the rest of the recent French Film Festival at the Friends of the Cinema – which also included talky comedy Le prenom and the Juliette Binoche-starring La vie d’une autre – it’s aimed squarely at older viewers looking for a genteel night out. Damning with faint praise seems wrong, however, when the film packs such a punch – not by breaking through but just holding on, treating a painful situation with a modicum of quiet sensitivity.
March 26, 2013
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Monsieur Lazhar, a disciplined and affecting film, understands a basic truth of grief: that it doesn’t come and go at our convenience, and there’s nothing that anyone can do about it, try though they may.
August 23, 2012
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