By Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Oscar-nominated film from Canada
is the story of an Algerian refugee in Montreal
who becomes a teacher to a seventh-grade class after their teacher commits
With no options the
principal hires Mr. Lazhar who steps into the classroom of children who are
still in shock and deftly leads them through the rest of the year.
But Mr. Lazhar has
misrepresented himself, though we don’t find this out right away. When his
immigration status as a political refugee is challenged his backstory of loss
fills in the blanks to explain his heart and empathy.
Then there are the
children. A boy and a girl seem friendly at first but it soon becomes clear
that she blames the boy for the death of the teacher. He has done something that pushes the teacher
over the edge, someone that everyone seems to known was fragile, and she
cruelly sets up her death so that the boy is the one who discovers her.
There is much healing
needed in the school, within Mr. Lazhar, and society.
This is a gentle
film about loss, grief and a caring man who transcends his own sorrow to offer
hope and stability to children. Monsieur Lazhar is in French with
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