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PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

THE TEACHER

12:30   2:40   4:45   7:00   9:20

Through Tuesday, September 12

DIRECTED BY JAN HŘEBEJK

A comedy set in 1983 Czechoslovakia, with Soviet-style Communism in full swing. Bossy middle-school teacher, Comrade Drazdechova, greets her new students with the request that each announces what his or her parents do for a living. With tremendous ingenuity and unfailing deviousness, she uses that information to wheedle favors, both big and small, from each family. The wonderful directing/writing team of Jan Hřebejk and Petr Jarchovský (DIVIDED WE FALL; KAWASAKI’S ROSE) finds humor in the petty abuses of power, fear-mongering, and pathetic kowtowing that the regime spawned. Highlight of the film: a PTA meeting from hell, in which parents and the school administrators face off against each other – and themselves.

SLOVAKIA / CZECH REPUBLIC • 2016 • 103 MINS. • IN SLOVAK WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES • FILM MOVEMENT

Reviews

“The prolific Czech director-writer duo… return to top form with the compelling Slovak-language dramedy. (An) intelligent and universally resonant crowd-pleaser. Although dealing with weighty matters, Jarchovsky’s script (which is based on a real-life incident he experienced during primary school) is leavened with welcome humor and irony… The film’s coda is delicious. As usual, Hrebejk’s direction is smooth and the ensemble performances top-notch.”
– Alissa Simon, Variety

“The most intense PTA meeting of all time. A sardonic, richly seriocomic morality play that uses a delicate touch to explore why communism never seems to work out in the long run. This crowd-pleasing standout...leverages its hyper-specific setting to convey a universal story of fear and power. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds...Hrebejk, the prolific Czech director behind the likes of DIVIDED WE FALL and KAWASAKI’S ROSE, completely jives with the script’s careful balancing act between personal drama and political subversion…. With exacting playfulness (and) a visibly stylized aesthetic. Maurery is brilliant in the title role.”
– David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“Hrebejk has always been an exceptional director of actors. (The film has) good casting, clever camera blocking and sharp cutting... (The) cinematographer, art director, and costume designer have come up with a warm look, with colorful, 1970s-like patterns.”
– Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter