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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An Algerian refugee fleeing from his past steps in as the new teacher for a troubled class whose former teacher committed suicide in the classroom. As the school mourns and the children struggle to cope with shock, sadness, and guilt, Mr. Lazhar becomes the strong, encouraging figure they need, despite skeptical, overprotective parents and clueless administrators. Thoughtful & wise, w/o the usual cliches.
The polar opposite of 'detachment' this Academy award nominated pic gently and poignantly follows the arrival of a mysterious substitute teacher and his impact on a classroom dealing with the suicide of their previous teacher. It's heart-warming and honest, exquisitely photographed and performance perfect whilst at the same time manages to subtly comment on immigration, truth and bias. 4 stars