The Country Teacher

Director: Bohdan Slama

Rating 3.5

Film Movement

113 minutes

Many of us have sought to find new meaning in our lives, by changing our jobs, moving to a different location or leaving old relationships. Yet we invariably find ourselves dragging old baggage with us as we futilely attempt to leave it all behind. In The Country Teacher, we meet Petr (Pavel Liska) a teacher of Natural Science, embarking on a new chapter of his life after having left a position at a prestigious high school in Prague to teach at a tiny school in an obscure small rural village. Not only is he leaving his position in the city but he is also hoping to leave behind a failed same- sex relationship and his own closeted existence; even his mother has no idea that he is gay. Once settled, Petr finds himself gradually becoming part of the rural social scene and befriends Marie (Zuzana Bydzovska), a capable and rugged woman who runs a dairy farm with her rebellious 17 year old son Lada (Ladislave Sedivy).

Petr does not divulge his homosexuality to anyone at the school, or in the village. However when his ex-boyfriend visits unexpectedly from the city a series of pivotal events are set into motion, among which Petr’s secret affection and attraction for Lada (who he had been tutoring) is explosively brought out into the open.

Set in a beautiful and tangibly realistic Czech countryside, the simple pastoral backdrop serves as soft contrast to the powerful emotional arena in which the characters display their inner selves and their denied yearnings, The Country Teacher skillfully includes the age-old themes of responsibility, the need for meaning in one’s life, forgiveness and the desire to be loved. Director Bohdan Slama effectively handles Marie’s attraction to Petr, Petr’s longing for Lada and their emotional workings as each character deals with his or her deep secrets and the need for meaningful human connection.

The Country Teacher paints a vivid and memorable picture of the yearning to find peace and meaning in a new setting after leaving an old life behind. The real breakthrough for Petr comes with the long repressed opening to self forgiveness and acceptance. It is truly only through this process that one can hope to live a life authentically renewed.

by Allyn Sterling

  • Concert Review: Krishna Das

    It was a warm, early summer evening in the charming suburban town of Glenside, as members …
  • Patrik, Age 1.5

    Patrik, Age 1.5 Dir: Ella Lemhagen Rating 4.0/5.0 Regent Releasing 100 Minutes How often d…
  • Stonewall Uprising

    Stonewall Uprising Dir: Kate Davis and David Heilbroner Rating: 4.0/5.0 First Run Features…
  • Censor

    Algar’s performance as an emotionally drained woman who lost a piece of herself long ago i…
  • In the Heights

    Like a cold can of bodega soda, the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights…
  • Oeuvre: Fellini: Satyricon

    Freely adapting ancient Roman writer Petronius’ controversial Satyricon, our modern Roman …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Check Also

Concert Review: Krishna Das

It was a warm, early summer evening in the charming suburban town of Glenside, as members …