In Montreal, an elementary school teacher dies abruptly. Having learned of the incident in the newspaper, Bachir Lazhar, a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, goes to the school to offer his services as a substitute teacher. Quickly hired to replace the deceased, he finds himself in an establishment in crisis, while going through his own personal tragedy. The cultural gap between Bachir and his class is made immediately apparent when he gives them a dictation exercise that is beyond their reach. Little by little, Bachir learns to better know this group of shaken but endearing kids. Monsieur Lazhar depicts the encounter between two distant worlds and the power of self-expression.
Born 1968 in Hull, Quebec, Falardeau is a Canadian film director and screenwriter. His first feature film, La Moitié gauche du frigo (2000) won “Best Canadian First Feature” at the Toronto International Film Festival. Monsieur Lazhar has been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards.
Filmography: Monsieur Lazhar (2011), C'est pas moi, je le jure! (2008), Congorama (2006), La moitié gauche du frigo (2000)