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The Teachers’ Lounge
12A98 min

Director: Ilker Çatak Starring:Leonie Benesch, Michael Klammer, Anne-Kathrin Gummich, Leonard Stettnisch, Eva Löbau, Kathrin Wehlisch Released:Thu 09 May 2024

Synopsis

Oscar-nominated The Teachers’ Lounge is German writer-director İlker Çatak’s brilliantly observed drama. Playing out like a thriller, the film expertly explores the fault lines of contemporary society.

Carla Nowak (Leonie Benesch) is a dedicated and idealistic new high-school teacher. A fresh face at the school, she seems to have connected with her Year 8 students, who are engaged and eager to learn in her maths class. But something is bubbling underneath the surface, and she’s quickly thrust into a delicate situation when a Turkish boy is suspected of theft. Not convinced of his guilt, Carla takes matters into her own hands and inadvertently starts down a path that soon begins to spiral out of control. As she tries to mediate between students, parents and opinionated colleagues, she is relentlessly confronted with the structures of the school system. Carla is pushed to her limits, and the school becomes a proxy for the cultural and ethical clashes of modern day society.

Catak’s film is an incisive study in power dynamics that demonstrates how individuals are worn down by opposing beliefs, as the adage goes, ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’.

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