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Shuswap Film Society: Riveting drama The Teacher’s Lounge coming to Classic

Cinemaphile by Joanne Sargent
A submission for Best International Feature Film at the upcoming Academy Awards, The Teacher’s Lounge plays at 5 p.m. at the Salmar Classic on Saturday, March 2, 2024. (Photo contributed)

By Joanne Sargent


We had many people say our International Film Festival was the best yet.

This week we’re back to our regular schedule with Germany’s submission for Best International Feature Film at the upcoming Academy Awards. The Teacher’s Lounge is a riveting and suspenseful drama set in a German middle school, but the questions raised could just as easily be attributed to any community.

Have you ever had one of those days where something bad happens and your response to it makes it worse and the response to your response causes an escalation that makes everything worse still? This is what happens to Carla, originally from Poland, a new teacher as idealistic as she is passionate about her profession, who gets involved in school politics way over her well-meaning head.

There’s an epidemic of theft and dishonesty at the school. Carla is unhappy about the heavy-handed methods the school uses as they interrogate students. When one of her charges, a child of immigrants, is accused of stealing money, Carla decides to get to the bottom of the thievery herself. She sets a trap to catch the thief and, based on a fleeting image, she accuses a staff member and the staff member is suspended. Then there’s another theft and other surprising turns of events and what began as a small problem becomes a powder keg.

The Teacher’s Lounge addresses issues of privacy, freedom of speech, economic/class structure and presumed versus proven guilt. It zeroes in on the righteousness of an ambitious young teacher who’s willing to do what she deems “right” at all costs.

The Teacher’s Lounge plays at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 at the Classic.

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