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Quebec at the Oscars
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Film Screening: "Monsieur Lazhar" (Phillipe Falardeau, 2011, 94 min, Canada, French with English subtitles, color, 35mm) -- Bashir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant who is in the throws of recovering from a personal tragedy, is hired to replace an elementary school teacher who committed suicide. As the students and school community try to comprehend and cope with their former teacher's suicide, they are not aware of Mr. Lazhar's precarious status as a refugee and his own loss - his wife and children, who died in an arson attack. As Mr. Lazhar and his students work through their grief and develop a strong bond, Mr. Lazhar's standing as a teacher at the school are challenged due to his past. This is a poignant film about both teaching and collective grief. -- Oscar Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards!