The Teacher (Ucitelka)

Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Time: 7:30pm
Location: Bow Tie Squire Cinemas (115 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck)

Dir. Jan Hrebejk | Slovakia & Czech Republic | 2016 | English Subtitles | 103 minutes

At the start of every school year in this suburb of Bratislava, teacher Maria Drazdechova’s no-nonsense pumps can be heard clacking across the floor to her classroom.  It’s 1983 and the teacher’s smiling inquiries into her new pupils’ family relationships are unsettling. Well-connected with the Communist Party, she employs insidious methods to manipulate her students—and their families—into doing her bidding. Those who don’t style her hair or fix her apartment when summoned will see their children’s grades slip or find them ejected from their sports teams. The school principal calls the parents together for an urgent meeting, proposing they sign a petition to get Miss Drazdechova ousted. But the repressive political regime has made everyone fear repercussions. Will the parents remain silent and intimidated? Is it best for the children if they speak out?

Told with a deft mix of drama and humor, and featuring the PTA meeting from Hell, The Teacher  features a stellar ensemble cast. Zuzana Mauréry’s performance as the menacing, floral-clad Miss Drazdechova won her the Best Actress Award at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Central and Eastern Europe’s leading film event in the Czech Republic.

“An intelligent and universally resonant crowd-pleaser…” Variety

“Hrebejk and Jarchovsy deftly employ humor as a way of mocking and undercutting their anti-heroine while preventing their overall point about power and corruption from becoming preachy.”Eye for Film

*Special Guest Speaker: Irena Kovarova is an independent film programmer and film exhibitions producer. The focus of her work is European and independent cinema. A native of Prague, and resident of New York since 1996, she’s curated and/or produced over a dozen touring programs, especially of Czech cinema, including retrospectives of Milos Forman, Jan Svankmajer, Frantisek Vlacil, and Pavel Juracek. Irena’s recent work includes North American retrospective tours of Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund and Czech legendary director Jan Nemec, and a Central European touring retrospective of Kelly Reichardt, all produced for her outfit, Comeback Company. In January 2017 she co-curated the most complete Jan Nemec retrospective held on foreign soil for the International Film Festival Rotterdam. She also curated and produced five annual festivals of current European cinema titled Disappearing Act (2009-2013), 10 annual showcases New Czech Films at BAMcinématek, and its national tour in 2012. More details at comebackcompany.com.

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