By Jess Fenton
3rd June 2012

The suicide of a much-loved teacher rocks a school to its core, particularly the Year 6 class she left behind leaving them confused, shaken and overwhelmed by grief. The children must also deal with a new teacher, Algerian Monsieur Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag). New to the country and new to the ways of the school, it’s an adjustment for both parties, especially when behind the scenes secrets haunt them all.

While dealing with weighty subjects, this French/Canadian film is handled with simple and exquisite affection and empathy by filmmaker Philippe Falardeau, who both wrote and directed the feature.


‘Monsieur Lazhar’ boasts both subtle and effortless performances by the adult and impressive young cast, especially 11-year-old Sophie Nelisse, who along with Fellag has been the recipient of a slew of awards and nominations since the film's release.

Filled with unforced drama and an airtight script that allows for what isn’t said to be just as effective as the said. Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award this year, its nomination was well and truly deserved. A deeply beautiful film that is not to be missed.

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