An antidote to Angelina
After the suicide of a teacher, a middle-aged Algerian refugee with trauma issues of his own passes himself off as a substitute teacher whilst awaiting the outcome of his application for political asylum in Canada. This quiet, subtle and unexpectedly affecting film is an interesting exploration of Canada’s multi-ethnicity but is memorable above all as a reiteration of children’s rights and all they imply: dignity, innocence and joy in whatever form is appropriate. The perfect antidote to Angelina Jolie-type misery-laden war trauma films.
Bachir Lazhar (Monsieur Lazhar) | Directed by Philippe Falardeau (Canada 2011) with Mohamed Fellag, Danielle Proulx, Brigitte Poupart. Starts April 12.