22.5 C
Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Monsieur Lazhar

Latest News

Action on Cumbalum Interchange at Ballina?

Following multiple community requests, Cr Phillip Meehan brought a motion to the last Ballina Council meeting calling for additional ramps to be built at the Cumbalum-Pacific Motorway interchange.

Other News

Family Court scrapped

Despite overwhelming opposition from Australia’s family law specialists and advocates, the federal Liberal-Nationals government and cross benchers scrapped the Family Law Court and subsumed it into the circuit courts last week.

Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some...

Lismore urges REX to reconsider service cancellation

The regional airline Regional Express (REX) announced yesterday that five services, including its Lismore service, would cease once government support through the RANS program is discontinued at the end of March.

Community bar – not

Liz Levy, Suffolk Park I couldn’t believe what I was reading in The Echo: a plan to turn an ‘iconic’...

Ministers misbehave

Keith Duncan, Pimlico Accusations of appalling behaviour by the Liberal Party in covering up misdeeds within its ranks just keep...

Suffolk pump track

Dr Ray Moynihan, Suffolk Park Thanks to The Echo for ongoing coverage of the debate about the proposed pump track...

Film review by John Campbell

How often do we find that it is the simple story that rewards us most? That it is the simple story that delves deepest into the profound and complex business of being human?

Layered, calm and unhurried (it achieves in 94 minutes what many others can’t in two-and-a-half overblown hours), this French-Canadian feature, based on a play by Evelyne de la Cheneliere, is a plain-speaking expression of hope and love.

Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag), an Algerian refugee, is hired at a Montreal school to replace a young teacher who hanged herself in the classroom (the process of his getting the job is not entirely believable, but that’s an insignificant quibble). His immediate task is to deal with the children’s grief and sense of loss, then to proceed with the day-to-day demands of the curriculum.

Bachir’s methods are anachronistic in the intensely regulated, politically correct environment of western education – he is chastised for giving one kid a deserved clip over the ear for his poor behaviour, while his dictation of Balzac is a throwback to an abandoned, discredited intellectual rigour. But it is his unorthodoxy and openness that endear him to the children.

Soon enough it becomes clear that there are suppressed emotional wounds that must be healed – within the teacher as well as his pupils. As a man needing to have his own broken heart repaired through the act of attending to the hurt of others, Fellag’s elegant performance sets a tone of gentleness and kindness through civility, which is nowadays an antiquated concept.

The gorgeous Sophie Nélisse as Alice, Bachir’s favourite, and Émilien Néron as the troubled Simon are both excellent (Simon’s cathartic moment is genuinely moving) in a room full of fine junior actors.

Allowing the characters to expose their humanity without distraction, and perhaps influenced by the minimalism of the stage from which his material has been adapted, writer/director Philippe Falardeau’s approach is uncomplicated and direct but never abrasive. A beautiful movie – catch it while you can. 

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Praying for Vanuatu in Ballina

The World Day of Prayer is a gigantic ecumenical event staged on the first Friday of March.

Random Mullumbimby breath test leads police to cannabis and ketamine

Police say that a random breath test in Mullumbimby has led to the seizure of cannabis and ketamine.

Police looking for missing Pottsville woman

Police say they are seeking public assistance to locate a woman missing from Pottsville for almost a week.


Dr Matt Landos, East Ballina There is the real news and then there is the fake news. The radio news announced recently new economic figures showing...