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When Bachir Lazhar begins a teaching job at a school in French-Canadian Montreal, his first challenge is to help the children cope with the trauma of their previous teacher's suicide, which occurred in the classroom. He announces himself cheerfully, telling his pupils his name means "Bearer of good news". With warmth and compassion, he begins to win them over, but must face the prejudices and suspicion of colleagues and parents, as well as repressed sadness from his own past in Algeria. This poignant and hopeful classroom drama, which has proved an audience favourite, sensitively deals with important issues in regard to overcoming trauma and community support networks.
Director Laurent Cantet's riveting, Palme d'Or winning drama chronicles a year in the life of a rough school in a working class suburb of Paris.
14+ years 124 mins
The arrival of an unorthodox, inspiring teacher to a conservative '50s boarding school has a huge, controversial impact in this famed, touching drama.
11–16 years 123 mins
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For Refugee Week, find out how you can use film to help young people understand the wider contexts of current issues.
Reading time 3 mins
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