Rated PG-13 · 94 minutes · 2012

A nominee for last year's Best Foreign Language Film, Monsieur Lazhar comes to us all the way from ... Montreal! Well, they do speak French there. Of course, the category should really honor any international film made outside the big Hollywood system, but that's a story for another time. Lazhar (Mohamed Saïd Fellag) is wrestling with a couple serious issues when he becomes an emergency substitute teacher in Quebec. First, he's an immigrant. Second, his wife and children perished in an arson attack; she was a writer whose politically motivated work set off the wrong people back home in Algeria. He encounters a third problem in class: He's replacing a teacher who killed herself. Despite the heavy nature of all of these events, Monsieur Lazhar is hopeful and humane. It's not a film about grieving, but carrying on. And a good one at that.
Official Site: www.monsieurlazharmovie.com
Director: Philippe Falardeau
Cast: Fellag, Sophie Nélisse, Émilien Néron, Danielle Proulx, Brigitte Poupart, Jules Philip, Daniel Gadouas, Louis Champagne and Seddik Benslimane


Monsieur Lazhar


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Chicago Reader Good mourning, class In Philippe Falardeau's Monsieur Lazhar, an Algerian refugee copes with grieving students by J.R. Jones 04/25/2012
The Coast Halifax Gorgeous, sad drama Monsieur Lazhar Quebec film articulates grief and immigrant experience by Matt Semansky 02/16/2012
Indy Week An Algerian immigrant teaches Canadian children in Monsieur Lazhar The film is a tale of healing—for the children, who despite their material comfort are suffering from emotional neglect, and for Lazhar, who is applying for political asylum after suffering a terrible trauma in Algeria. by David Fellerath 05/16/2012

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