Four-star foreign film hits our screen
RECEIVING four stars from movie critic David Stratton, The Teacher will screen at the Brolga Theatre next week.
This is a wildly entertaining black comedy inspired by the true story of a Communist-era teacher who manipulated her pupils and their families for unprecedented personal gain in 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 Drazdechova, 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 - connecting them with special treatment in the 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 behaviour to her colleagues, the principal calls a secret meeting, seeking parents to sign a petition to move 'Comrade Drazdechova' 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 creates 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 Slovakian film is the August movie screening for the Maryborough Regiona Arts Council Cinema Club.
The Teacher will screen on Wednesday, August 15 at 6.30pm in the Federation Room of the Brolga Theatre, 5 Walker Street, Maryborough. Cost was $10 for Arts Council members and $12 for non-members with refreshments to follow.