In Montreal, elementary school teacher Bachir Lazhar, from Algeria (portrayed by well-known Algerian comedian and writer Fellag) takes over an elementary school class following the suicide of their teacher. Though Lazhar is still recovering from a personal tragedy of his own, he gets to know his students despite a wide cultural gap and difficulties in adapting to the school system's constraints. In time, the students begin their healing process with the hope of transcending their collective grief, just as Bachir comes to be loved and respected by his class.
MUSIC BOX FILMS HOME ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES
THE 2012 ACADEMY AWARD(R) NOMINEE FOR
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
A POIGNANT AND POWERFUL TALE ABOUT AN IMMIGRANT SUBSITUTE SCHOOL TEACHER WHO BRINGS HUMANITY, TRANSCENDENCE
AND GRACE TO HIS STUDENTS
"Enthralling...In a class with the Francois Truffaut of The 400 Blows." --Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal "Like a dedicated teacher, this is a film that stays with you." --Kyle Smith, New York Post "A really great movie!"--Michelle Orange, Village Voice "This nearly perfect gem...packs a wallop." --Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter
Chicago, IL (July 19, 2012) - An Algerian immigrant substitute teacher brings emotional stability and strength to a Montreal elementary school class shaken by the suicide of their beloved former teacher in Monsieur Lazhar, the Academy Award-nominated new film by acclaimed Canadian auteur Philippe Falardeau (It's Not Me, I Swear!).
In Montreal, elementary school teacher Bachir Lazhar, from Algeria (portrayed by well-known Algerian comedian and writer Fellag) takes over an elementary school class following the suicide of their teacher. Though Lazhar is still recovering from a personal tragedy of his own, he gets to know his students despite a wide cultural gap and difficulties in adapting to the school system's constraints. In time, the students begin their healing process with the hope of transcending their collective grief, just as Bachir comes to be loved and respected by his class. But nobody in the school is aware of Bachir's painful past or that, as a refugee, his stay at the school may not be a permanent one.
Adapted from the one-character stage play "Bashir Lazhar" by Evelyne de la Cheneliere, Monsieur Lazhar offers a remarkably seamless blend of drama and comedy in its tale of how one man uses self-expression--in himself and those around him--to bridge the distance between two very different worlds.
Music Box Films Home Entertainment will release Monsieur Lazhar on Blu-ray disc and DVD for the first time on August 28, 2012 (prebook July 24th). Released theatrically around the world and in the top 200 markets in the U.S. in April 2012, the Monsieur Lazhar Blu-ray and DVD will carry the suggested retail prices of $29.95 and $38.94, respectively.
Led by Fellag and featuring a cast of outstanding child actors including the debuting Sophie Nelisse and Emilien Neron, the perceptive and knowing Monsieur Lazhar follows in the grand tradition of such fine 'inspirational teacher' films as Goodbye, Mr. Chips, To Sir, with Love and To Be and To Have. In addition to its universal lauding and Academy Award nomination, Monsieur Lazhar has garnered major prizes at such major international film fests as the Toronto International Film Festival, the Locarno Film Festival, the Rotterdam International Film Festival and Canada's Genie Awards.
Described by critics as "full of life" (Ty Burr, Boston Globe), "transcendent" (Karen Durbin, Elle Magazine) and "lovely, provocative...a movie with soul" (John Anderson, NY Newsday), Monsieur Lazhar is a professor whom any student would adore...and a crowd-pleasing film that everyone will love!
In Montreal, an elementary school teacher commits suicide. Having learned of the incident in the newspaper, Bachir Lazhar (Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, goes to the school to offer his services and is quickly hired to replace her, even though he is still recovering from a personal tragedy of his own. He gets to know his students despite the cultural gap evident from the very first day of class and Lahzar's difficulties adapting to the school system's constraints. Little by little, Bachir comes to better know this group of shaken but endearing kids, among whom are Alice (Sophie Nelisse) and Simon (Emilien Neron), two charismatic pupils particularly affected by their teacher's death. The class goes through the healing process as Bachir slowly comes to be loved and respected by the students. But nobody in the school is aware of Bachir's painful past; nor do they suspect that he is at risk of being deported at any moment.
About Music Box Films:
Founded in 2007, Music Box Films has quickly established itself as one of the leading distributors of non-English language feature films in the US in theaters, on DVD and Blu-ray, and via Video-on-Demand. Music Box's release of Guillaume Canet's Tell No One was the most popular foreign-language film of 2008. In 2010, the film adaptations of Stieg Larsson's trilogy of international mega-sellers dominated the foreign-language film market: the first in the series, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, was one of the most popular international releases of the decade with over $10 million in US box office. Music Box Films is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation which also owns and operates The Music Box Theatre, Chicago's premiere venue for independent and foreign films.
Music Box Films Home Entertainment
STREET DATE: August 28, 2012
DVD: $38.94 Blu-ray
Cast: Fellag, Sophie Nelisse, Emilien Neron, Danielle Proulx, Brigitte Poupart
Director: Philippe Falardeau
Running Time: 94 minutes
Format: 1.85:1 widescreen
Sound Format: Dolby Digital
Language: French with English subtitles
Bonus Features: From Stage to Screen, Big Talk Interview with Philippe Falardeau, Alice and Simon Audition Tapes, Bachir's Story, Alice's Report.