From Oscar-nominated writer/director Jan Hřebejk (Divided We Fall), THE TEACHER is a black comedy inspired by the true story of a Communist-era school teacher who manipulated her pupils for unprecedented personal gain.

Učiteľka
Director: Jan Hřebejk
Cast: Zuzana Mauréry, Peter Bebjak, Zuzana Konečná, Csongor Kassai
Duration: 103 mins
Country of Origin: Slovakia/Czech Republic

MMature themes, coarse language and brief nudity


Subscribe to our mailing list for
updates & screening invitations



The Teacher

“Exceptional. It functions beautifully on parallel levels, marrying a character-driven story with social concerns. Adroitly structured and sure-handed, it plays out with great skill, right down to a pitch-perfect finale. Wonderfully entertaining.”
Kenneth Turan, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

“A surefire crowdpleaser. Smoothly written, expertly directed and spiced with plenty of dry, dark Czech humour, it’s a dip into the recent Communist past which offers a morality lesson that has lost none of its relevance with the change of regimes and the passing of time.”
Dan Fainaru, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

“A lot of fun. Satirises communist with style and tackles Czech history in a way that the whole world should watch. Mauréry is brilliant in the title role, a symbol of corruption who’s most compelling when she’s right on the brink of becoming a cartoon. It’s a careful tightrope act, but Mauréry never wavers. Hřebejk’s needle-sharp take on the perils of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons touches a nerve.”
David Ehrlich, INDIEWIRE

“The prolific Czech director-writer duo Jan Hrebejk and Petr Jarchovsky return to top form with this compelling dramedy. An intelligent and universally resonant crowd-pleaser.”
Alissa Simon, VARIETY

WINNER – 2016 KARLOVY VARY FILM FESTIVAL – BEST ACTRESS
WINNER – 2017 SLOVAK ACADEMY AWARDS – BEST FILM, ACTRESS, SCREENPLAY, MUSIC & AUDIENCE AWARD

From Oscar-nominated writer/director Jan Hřebejk (Divided We Fall), THE TEACHER is a wildly entertaining black comedy inspired by the true story of a Communist-era school teacher who manipulated her pupils and their families for unprecedented personal gain.

The early 1980s, Czechoslovakia. At the start of a new term at a suburban high school, a seemingly empathetic and kind new teacher, the middle-aged Maria Drazděchová greets her class. She asks them to introduce themselves and share what their parents do for a living, explaining that it’s important to know how their parents might collectively help the group. Soon after, she gradually begins to pressure both students and parents by seeking favours – grocery collection, handyman assistance, lifts and haircuts – and connecting them with special treatment in class and, most significantly, good grades.

Before long Maria’s demands grow more complex and dangerous, so when a serious incident finally draws her unscrupulous behavior to her colleagues, the principal calls a secret meeting, seeking parents to sign a petition to move “Comrade Drazděchová” on from the school. But her high connections with the Communist Party hang above everyone in the room, and it’s soon evident that standing up for what’s right may be much easier said than done.

With production design and cinematography that recreates the era to wonderful effect, THE TEACHER delivers a timeless and universal story of opportunism, bias and human dignity. Laced with wicked humour and standout performances, this rousing morality tale employs a delicate touch to skewer not only the complications of communism, but the human characteristics that ensure it never quite works out as expected.

The Teacher

NEW ZEALAND PREMIERE SCREENINGS
2017 New Zealand Film Festival
14 July-24 September – click here for details

AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE SEASON COMMENCES THURSDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2017