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THE LESSON

Director: PETAR VALCHANOV

106 minutes, Bulgaria, 2014, Digital, Subtitled


This film was released on Friday  4th December 2015 and is no longer screening. 

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A schoolteacher’s moral authority in the classroom is tested by the fickle hand of fate in this starkly compelling morality tale from Bulgaria, the debut feature from writing-directing duo Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov, whose minimalist approach foregrounds the excellent performances and finely tuned narrative.

Nadezhda (Margita Mosheva) is a schoolteacher in a provincial town who becomes mildly obsessed with uncovering a petty thief in her class; someone is stealing money from her purse, and she is loath to let the culprit go unpunished. Her conscientious approach to life has less traction at home where her husband’s drunken behaviour and chronic financial irresponsibility is bringing the family close to penury. Forced into ever more humiliating circumstances in her attempts to save the family home from the bank, Nadezhda finds her actions spiralling dangerously out of control. (Notes by David O’Mahony)

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