The Country Teacher
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Top Customer Reviews
A teacher (Pavel Liska) moves to a small rural village in order to take a job teaching natural science at the local elementary school. He is a quiet introspective man who does not seem to fit into the setting that he has placed himself in after having taught in Prague. He soon becomes friends with a lonely widow Marie (Zuzana Bydzovska) and her rebellious 17 year old son Lada (Ladislav Sedivy). As the friendship progresses the audience learns that the teacher has no sexual interest in Marie but no reason is given. When a former boyfriend of the teacher arrives in the village a chain of events is set off that willlead to painful revelations about all three of the main characters.
The film concentrates on characters not on convoluted plot lines to get its story across. There are long takes that focus on individual faces. Director of photography Divis Marek does an admirable job filming the bucolic landscape with long lenses in order to force his viewers into the story. If there is a flaw with the film it is that the ending is a little contrived but the message that forgivness is necessary for us to evolve as humans is universal. There are also messages about the diversity of life that are played out in the daily lives of the characters..
This film had a limited screening in my location but I was able to view the Film Movement DVD. The standatd definition disc presents the film with no real issues and the subtitles are easy to read and seem to get at the nuances in Slama's script.
This one is worth checking out if you can find it. The film was an official selection at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals and won the Audience Award at the Cottbus Film Festival.
And yes, there is a story as well. A timeless and beautiful one at that, a fable about love, self-acceptance and our indestructible need for others. The `teacher` in question has left a prestigious teaching position in Prague, transferring instead to a village elementary school. The locals are glad to have such a learned person teaching their children. Yet, they can`t understand why he has come. Self-effacing and bookish, the teacher inspires his new pupils. Soon, he makes the acquaintance of a simple peasant woman and her teenaged son. Helping the son with his math lessons, the teacher soon becomes a regular at their dilapidated farmhouse.
Yet, cracks begin to appear in the teacher`s seemingly enigmatic mask. He is lonely and stand-offish, yet he rejects the romantic advances of the farm lady. He confesses that he is fresh from a break-up and needs time to be alone.
The real reason behind the teacher`s confusing behavior soon becomes clear. Back in Prague for a short vacation, he comes out to his parents. It turns out that he has escaped the temptations and disappointments of big city life and has sought out an idyllic refuge in the country. Soon the teacher`s former life catches up as an ex-lover pays a visit to his science lesson. The teacher must face his true identity in his new environment.
Caught in this dilemma, the teacher suffers and soon succumbs to his desires. He attempts to seduce his young student.Read more ›
From a purely technical standpoint, this film is a joy to watch. Since the film is presented in Czech with English subtitles, I found myself reading and not noticing something incredible about this film. The average cut in this film is around 2 minutes. I timed one fairly complex scene at 3 minutes 20 seconds. A remarkable feat of choreography, acting, and camera work. I was in awe at the poetry of the camera work.
The director mastered the very long cut. The cameraman mastered the ability to move gracefully, hold the camera steady, and follow the action perfectly. The sound and lighting are well done, even the night street party was clear. But there are some flaws. Towards the end the film loses the wonderful rhythm it established in the beginning. There is a scene that moves from outdoors, through a hallway, into the kitchen, behind a table, back around the table, and out the door. Sadly, this looks like a very rushed shot, there is a greater amount of camera movement than in all the previous shots. The teacher is shown being a master teacher early on; and then school is completely forgotten with no explanation. In fact, it seems like the teacher is on summer break. He also turns into this painfully quiet reculse that has trouble physically moving. And then the bookend shows up near the end of the film, and he is the master teacher again. There were no good transitions between these acts of the film.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting film. A bit slow. Good production values. I was a bit surprised it had the proverbial happy ending.Published 1 month ago by Glenn E
This is love story of unique proportions. Please watch this one with the loved and cherished person. Will not get into the minute scenario. Available on Here TV. NJMJr!Published 14 months ago by Norvell J. Maher
THE COUNTRY TEACHER (in Czechoslovakian, 2009, 113 minutes) is an interesting Czechoslovakian film from a country, I suspect, that is still in its infancy making movies. Read morePublished on May 25, 2014 by Hui Shen ben Israel
Loved the movie. Photography and camerawork is beautiful, acting is tremendous, story is real and gives an interesting insight into rural Czech culture. Read morePublished on November 21, 2013 by hellomynameis
This is not a fast paced action film. It's subtitled. The plot and characters are richly developed and there's a satisfying ending.Published on July 7, 2013 by Harriet S. Leveen
A great story superbly told. The MP3 download worked.xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxxPublished on January 21, 2013 by Isidor Saslav
This film is not worth watching, as it is not written well, the characters are not well developed, and altogether it does not hold your attention. Read morePublished on May 16, 2012 by Pera Kivi
"The Country Teacher" is an understated drama about a gay teacher who leaves the big city for a position in a rural school district. Read morePublished on April 9, 2012 by Scadhog