The award-nominee film about an Algerian school teacher who struggles as a replacement substitute teacher for a grade school class, who’s faced a death in the classroom, explores the genre of not only drama but tragedy, subtle romance and humor in this Canadian French-language film.
Spanish Instructor Carmenmara Hernandez-Bravo presented the 2012 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film, “Monsieur Lazhar,” Thursday, Oct. 11 in what she calls her International Film Festival where she screens a foreign film once a month in SSC 212.
The director and writer of “Monsieur Lazhar,” Philippe Falardeau, focuses on the main character Bachir Lahzar as he takes on a replacement teaching job at a public grade school in MontrÃ©al.
Although Lahzar faces struggles within his own personal history, he takes on the job after the students’ previous teacher commits suicide. The challenge he takes trying to help the students cope with the tragic situation, especially a young boy Simone who struggles with the loss the hardest, reveals Lahzar’s passion for his students.
“I thought the acting was a little weird just because I’m not that used to French acting, and I know that their direction and how they pronounce their feelings are a lot different than American actors or at least in the films that I’ve seen, but I thought that it was well written,” said Saddleback student Courtney Corkill, 21, psychology. “I don’t know much about direction and production but I thought the movie was well-produced. I thought that overall it all correlated well together.”
Although the movie did not take the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, it won a total of 24 awards including the 2011 Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival and 2012 Best Motion Picture at the Genie Awards.
“I like French films just because they have a different way of expressing what the point of the movie and the story is. Like if you compare it to American films they are much slower and focus more on the details,” said Saddleback student Andrea Porras, 20, a film student. “I think they (the French) over think a lot of every shot, so everything has a meaning behind it. But at the end I liked how it came together.”
The next film part of the International Film series, which is to be announced, will be screened Nov. 8.
For more information contact:
International Film Festival:
Music Box Films-“Monsieur Lazhar“: