PIAF Film Festival: ‘The Teacher’ and ‘Little Men’


The Teacher (M) | Directed by Jan Hrebejk

The teacher in this Slovak language film by Czech director Jan Hrebejk is Comrade Drazdechova (Zuzana Maurey) who is also the head of the local communist party. At the beginning of the 1983 school year, she asks her students to introduce themselves and notes down in her red notebook their parents’ occupations.

As the widow of a high-ranking military officer, she hopes that the parents of her charges will help her, but it becomes obvious very early on that she is using her position to exact an enormous amount of favours. In exchange for these favours, students are given guidance as to the contents of forthcoming tests.

Students whose parents don’t or can’t cooperate are forced to clean her house or run errands in order to avoid failing. Some are missing out on the training they usually do and eventually some of the parents complain to the school administration to protest

Based on actual events from the last decade of the communist regime, this film shows an outrageous abuse of power with enormous amounts of wry humour. The teacher is quite incorrigible and you will love to hate her.

The Teacher is the first of the Perth International Arts Festival films to screen at Joondalup Pines at Edith Cowan University in Joondalup.

It will be on Tuesday 29 November to Sunday 4 December, and then will screen ay Somerville at the University of WA from Monday 5 December to Sunday 11 December.

little men

Little Men (PG) by American director Ira Sachs (Love is Strange) is an engaging film about two teenage boys trying to remain friends as a feud escalates between their parents. Thoughtful, moving and impeccably acted, you won’t want to leave the company of these quality characters.

It screens 28 November to 4 December at Somerville and 5 December to 11 December at Joondalup Pines.

Lezly Herbert

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