A primary-school class is horrified by a most unpleasant event. Simon finds his teacher Martine after she has hung herself in the classroom. Her replacement, the strict yet fair Algerian immigrant Bachir Lazhar, first tries to teach the children the literature of Honoré de Balzac. In vain, as they have other things on their mind. The suicide left a deep wound, especially on Simon and Alice. Bachir is himself in the meantime wrestling with family problems and can be thrown out of the country at any moment.
Even if the serious themes of loss, death, guilt and innocence make one think otherwise, this film based on a play by Evelyne de la Chenelière is charming, tender and at times even strikingly humorous. The good-natured Bachir is played subtly and movingly by Mohamed Fellag. Falardeau manages to stimulate Émilien Néron (Simon) and Sophie Nélisse (Alice) to play very profound roles, as he had done previously with the child actors in It's not me, I swear! The result is a loving, warm audience film like Être et avoir.



Filmmaker
Philippe Falardeau
Country
Canada
Year
2011
Medium
DCP
Length
94’
Language
French
Producer
Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
Production Company
micro_scope
Sales
Playtime
Writer
Philippe Falardeau, based on the play Bashir Lazhar by Evelyne de la Chenelière
Cinematography
Ronald Plante
Editor
Stéphane Lafleur
Production Design
Emmanuel Fréchette
Sound Design
Pierre Bertrand, Mathieu Beaudin, Sylvain Bellemare, Bernard Gariépy Strobl
Music
Martin Léon
Cast
Brigitte Poupart, Mohamed Fellag
Website
http://micro-scope.ca/en/portfolio/monsieur-lazhar/