The Teacher

(Czech Republic/Slovakia/2016—directed by Jan Hřebejk)

In 1983 Czechoslovakia, with Soviet-style Communism in full swing, bossy middle school teacher and Party official Comrade Drazdechova (the wonderful Zuzana Mauréry) greets her new students with the request that each reveal what his or her parents do for a living. With ingenuity and deviousness, she uses the information to wheedle services of every kind from each family. The students soon grasp their teacher’s most important lesson: their future success – or failure – is dependent on these modest “favors.” Director Jan Hřebejk (Divided We Fall) taps a rich vein of dark humor and wry, relevant satire by casting light on the petty abuses of power, fear-mongering and kowtowing that authoritarian regimes spawn at every level – including the most unforgettable PTA meeting in movie history. In Slovak with English subtitles. (103 minutes)

“A sardonic, richly seriocomic crowd-pleaser. Zuzana Mauréry is brilliant!”    -David Ehrlich, IndieWire

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