THE COUNTRY TEACHER
A gifted young teacher takes a job teaching natural sciences at a grammar school in the country. Here he makes the acquaintance of a woman and her troubled 17-year old son. The teacher has no romantic interest in the woman but they quickly form a strong friendship, each recognizing the other's uncertainties, hopes and longing for love. When the teacher's ex-boyfriend comes to visit from the city, he quickly realizes that nobody in the village knows that the teacher is gay and harbors a secret affection for the teenage boy. His jealous actions set in motion a series of events that will test the inner strength and compassion of the teacher, the woman and her son to a breaking point.
September 2, 2008
--Dan Fainaru/ Screen Daily - Review
--Stephen Holden / The New York Times - Review
"A great story of love, friendship and forgiveness."
--New York Post - Review
--Ella Taylor, The Village Voice - Review
--Alissa Simon, Variety - Review
Samuel Augustus Jennings - Customer Review
The scenery is beautiful and the teacher and mother are fine actors. This is a good movie for homosexuals who are struggling to come out of the closet. Questions: Are those two scenes where cows are giving birth real? If so, was the first calf born dead? I just left the Czech Republic after a short 3-day stay. This film makes me want to go back and teach english as a second language.
Edan - Customer Review
Jeff in Seattle - Customer Review
"The Country Teacher" is a film I was looking forward to watching, since I have enjoyed Bohdan Slama's "Something Like Happiness" (Film Movement's Year 4, Film 11 selection). It's a story of three people sticking together despite unrequited love within that group. The only problem I have is the sudden change from hatred to forgiveness in order to end the film. Seems like an easy way out to this problem. Despite that, "The Country Teacher" is a great film, and I look forward to Slam's future films.
Bryan Pfleeger - Customer Review
Bohdan Slama is becoming the new voice in Czech cinema. In three films he has shown himself to be a major talent. His film The Country Teacher presents a simple yet powerful story about unrequited love and the human power of forgiveness. A teacher (Pavel Liska) moves to a small rural village in order to take a job teaching natural science at the local elementary school. He is a quiet introspective man who does not seem to fit into the setting that he has placed himself in after having taught in Prague. He soon becomes friends with a lonely widow Marie (Zuzana Bydzovska) and her rebellious 17 year old son Lada (Ladislav Sedivy). As the friendship progresses the audience learns that the teacher has no sexual interest in Marie but no reason is given. When a former boyfriend of the teacher arrives in the village a chain of events is set off that will lead to painful revelations about all three of the main characters. The film concentrates on characters not on convoluted plot lines to get its story across. There are long takes that focus on individual faces. Director of photography Divis Marek does an admirable job filming the bucolic landscape with long lenses in order to force his viewers into the story. If there is a flaw with the film it is that the ending is a little contrived but the message that forgiveness is necessary for us to evolve as humans is universal. There are also messages about the diversity of life that are played out in the daily lives of the characters.. This film had a limited screening in my location but I was able to view the Film Movement DVD. The standard definition disc presents the film with no real issues and the subtitles are easy to read and seem to get at the nuances in Slama's script. This one is worth checking out if you can find it. The film was an official selection at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals and won the Audience Award at the Cottbus Film Festival.