Monsieur Lazhar– sp (French with English subtitles) This film was the Canadian nomination for the best foreign film in the 2011 Oscar race. The opening scene takes place in a middle school that is the setting for most of the movie. We see a young student peeking into an empty classroom where he sees his teaching dangling from a rope where she has hanged herself. Starting with this violent event the movie progresses with an examination of the emotional meaning to the young students and to the replacement teacher Monsieur Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag ) an immigrant from Algiers, where he had his own secret tragedies. The movie is a remarkable accomplishment in that it is mostly these children who are expressing in a subtle manner what this experience has meant to them as well as the nuances of the storyline (which one must follow carefully through the subtitles). Fellag was imported from France for this role, which he handles with great sensitivity and believability. He is able to synchronize the working of his own emotions with those of the children. Much of the credit belongs to writer and director Phillipe Falardeau who adapted this story which he originally saw as a one person play. He concludes the film with the antithesis of how he began it. (2012)
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