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Monsieur Lazhar (Version française)

Mohamed Fellag , Sophie Nélisse , Philippe Falardeau    DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.99
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Product Description

Product Description

Bachir Lazhar is a middle-aged Algerian immigrant seeking political refuge in Quebec. Bachir jumps at the opportunity to replace a Montreal elementary school teacher who committed suicide one night after class. The school's overworked principal is initially relieved. Bachir finds he has to deal with a 10-year-old pupil who is traumatized because he discovered the body of his teacher, and a girl whose interpretation of the event and resentment toward her friend provoke unforeseen revelations.

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Après avoir appris la mort d'une institutrice dans une classe de sixième année, Bachir Lazhar, un Algérien de 50 ans va offrir ses services de remplaçant à la directrice de l'école. Il dit avoir a été instituteur à Alger, et il est disponible sur le champ. Bachir fait alors la rencontre d'un groupe d'enfants ébranlés, mais attachants. Le fossé entre eux apparaît dès le premier jour alors que Bachir leur propose une dictée hors de leur portée, tirée de Honoré de Balzac. Personnage un peu énigmatique ayant lui aussi vécu un drame, Bachir Lazhar va prendre en charge une classe fragilisée et les aider à passer à travers leur deuil par l’entremise de l’acte fondamental de l’enseignement. À l'école, personne ne connaît sa vie algérienne et ne se doute qu'il risque l'expulsion du Canada à tout moment.

From the Back Cover

À Montréal, Bachir Lazhar, un immigré algérien, est embauché au pied levé pour remplacer une enseignante de primaire disparue subitement. Il apprend peu à peu à connaître et à s'attacher à ses élèves malgré le fossé culturel qui se manifeste dès la première leçon. Pendant que la classe amorce un lent processus de guérison, personne à l'école ne soupçonne le passé douloureux de Bachir, qui risque l'expulsion du pays à tout moment...

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and touching March 8 2012
By Friederike Knabe TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
How is a class of eleven/twelve-year olds to cope with a tragedy that suddenly and out of the blue takes away their teacher? How do parents and teachers react to the trauma the children are experiencing? The school principal is under pressure to keep things "normal", none of the other teachers can take on the class, one school councillor is designated for the class of twenty plus young minds ' a crisis of great proportion' Into this challenging scenario walks Bashir Lazhar and offers himself as the ideal replacement teacher. With great subtlety and compassion does the film, Monsieur Lazhar, explore the evolving relationships between teacher and students, among various teachers and last but not least, between Bashir Lazhar at the school and his personal struggles beyond. The story touches on the different ways of dealing with loss and guilt, with honesty, lies and pretense, with prejudice and expediency. And finally, how the coping mechanisms of adults cannot easily be transferred to those of children living through a crisis. The story concentrates on two of the children, Simon and Alice, their growing hostility and Bashir's strict yet sensitive methods in dealing with the emotional struggles that the children go through.

Mohamed Fellag's acting in the role of Monsieur Lazhar is excellent, his interpretation of his character utterly convincing in his unassuming and often understated acting. The child actors, especially the two interpreting Simon and Alice, come across as natural and genuine. Philippe Falardeau, the film's writer/director came to international attention last year with his film "Incendies" that, like Monsieur Lazhar this year, was nominated for the Academy Award for best foreign-language film. [Friederike Knabe]
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching and amazing performances May 30 2012
By Youri
Format:DVD
I am a French teacher and just saw this movie. I did not know that it would be such a moving, emotional journey and one that will reward any viewer. The young children are faced with a tragedy, and are torn between their emotions and their need to express what they feel as well as their hesitation to do so creates a tension that slowly builds up throughout the movie. The performances of Mohamed Fellag (Monsieur Lazhar) and especially that of Alice (the teacher's pet in many respects but who does so in a charming way), played by Sophie Nélisse, stand out. Very touching, sweet movie that is well worth watching.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars L.actualité qui fait réfléchir. June 10 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Monsieur Lazhar nous rappelle notre déficit de compétences au Québec, notre résistance à accueillir les immigrants compétents et notre capacité de reconnaître ces compétences lorsquue les immigrants persistent à faire la démonstration de leurs capacités.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching and understated March 28 2013
Format:DVD
A wonderfully understated window on a human tragedy. Coming from London, it was very instructive to see the life of a school in Montreal and perhaps some of the more closed mentalities the Director exposes. Never sentimental but somehow eminently believable the acting by the children especially is a tour de force. Loved the multicultural classroom and the witty quips from both teachers and pupils. My favourite was Boris!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-see Movie Feb. 16 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Brilliant and moving from start to finish. Wonderfully realistic acting by everyone concerned. Do not miss it - if you cannot see it in a movie theatre, rent it, and you'll probably finish up buying it, it's that good.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, Canadian, French, School Drama Sept. 28 2012
By Tommy Dooley HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
The basis of this film is quite simple; a Montreal school teacher hangs herself in the classroom where she teaches her young charges. One of the boys Simon, discovers the body and raises the alarm. With the ensuing scandal it becomes nigh on impossible to get a replacement teacher and the kids are clearly traumatised by the whole experience.

Enter Monsieur Lazhar (Mohammed Fellag) he is from Algeria where he claims he was a teacher and he would like to step in and help. So faced with a decision of no teacher or a very keen one indeed, he gets the gig. The thing is that he is a man with a past and a tragic one too. Algeria has suffered years of terror and he and his family are one of its victims. He is also an asylum seeker and could face deportation at any time as his case is pending. This side of his life he keeps from everybody. He throws himself into connecting with the children and in doing so manages to unravel the truth of the past and the hostilities that the children have been harbouring amongst themselves.

This was an utterly absorbing film with performances from all involved that were brilliant. Emilien Neron who plays Simon is excellent but the real star is Mohammed Fellag who brings a warmth and humanity that is as touching as it is revealing about the human condition and possibly cultural attitudes.

This was taken from the play by Evelyne de la Cheneliere but has transferred to the screen with no hitches, there is a bit of love interest, no bedroom naughtiness and no real action. Yet this just shines through as a testament to great film making. In French with sub titles and a whole bucket of heart felt emotion – excellent.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How are we helping our children? July 4 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A movie about growing up, fitting in, listening, thinking and acting deliberately and consciously, Algerian immigrant Mr. Lazhar has come to offer himself as a candidate for the job of a teacher who has recently and sadly ended her career in a Montreal elementary school. He is a teacher who has enough experience and confidence to give children what he believes they need in order to be students and move forward with their lives despite the tragedy they have experienced.

Mr. lazhar is full of dialogue which gives a broad range of perspectives, particularly from the children. It's natural, optimistic despite its context, peppered with humour, melancholy, self-doubt, suspense and risk-taking.

Apart from being an insight into schools and the lives of the adults and children, it asks useful questions about teaching and schooling. It would provide a excellent springboard for discussions regarding what we do in the name of "education" and what we want for our children, and our society.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Naturalistic, atmospherically shot, moving. Such a welcome change from the slick, plastic offerings from south of the border.
Published 1 month ago by C. Biggs
4.0 out of 5 stars No subtitles for special features
where are the English subtitles for the special features etc.... good but not great.
Published 2 months ago by frosty
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful gentle film.
M. Lazahr is a profoundly moving film. It speaks so strongly, yet quietly and gently. It is also very much a window on downtown urban Quebec - east-end Montreal - that is almost... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Demosthenes
1.0 out of 5 stars faulty dvd
The dvd was faulty. I was only able to watch part of it and then it stopped working.
Very disappointed.
Published 9 months ago by Marilyn Hawcutt
4.0 out of 5 stars Du bon cinéma
Mon mari et moi avons visionné ce film ensemble et étions tous deux d'accord que c'est un bon film, mais pas un classique. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Anne-marie De Vos
3.0 out of 5 stars sub title issue
Two problems with this Canadian issue of the film. The large yellow sub titles (compared with the USA issue of the film) are obtrusive. Read more
Published 14 months ago by filmraconteur
4.0 out of 5 stars DEEP!
Kind of a deep movie for most, and was with sub-titles, but very interesting to see the good performances by the various characters. Read more
Published 15 months ago by I. Choma
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as great as the reviews paint it
I bought this movie because it sounded (from the reviews) to be an incredible movie. Perhaps the message was lost on me. Read more
Published 15 months ago by E.G
4.0 out of 5 stars Monsieur Lazhar
Monsieur Lazhar est un film très généreux, humain. Je l'ai beaucoup aimé pour la générosité de monsieur Lazhar et l'accueil des... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Denyse
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie that lets you make up your own mind
Our sympathies are with everyone in this movie (except, perhaps, the domineering set of parents!). Easy solutions are not on offer. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Speck
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