Nominated for the Academy Award® for Best International Feature Film
Carla Nowak (Leonie Benesch) is a dedicated, idealistic young teacher in her first job at a German middle school. Her relaxed rapport with her 7th-grade students is put under stress when a series of thefts occur at the school, and a staff investigation leads to accusations and mistrust among outraged parents, opinionated colleagues, and angry students. Caught in the middle of these complex dynamics, Carla tries to mediate — but the more she tries to do everything right, the more desperate her position becomes.
With THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE, award-winning director lker Çatak creates a riveting work about school as a microcosm of society. Starring as the teacher, Leonie Benesch drives an intense atmosphere through her captivating portrayal of an idealist caught between clashing sides. THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE is a study in power dynamics, with themes of truth, justice, racism, respect and children’s rights that demonstrate how individuals are worn down between entrenched positions. Other strong roles are played by Eva Löbau, Michael Klammer, and, making his film debut in the lead child role, Leo Stettnisch. Cinematographer Judith Kaufmann (CORSAGE) was responsible for the visual design’s ominous mood.
“Feels like a direct rebuttal to the glut of so-called magical teacher movies, which abound throughout cinema…. There’s a level on which it’s darkly funny, especially if you’ve spent time around preteens.” —Alissa Wilkinson, Critic’s Pick, New York Times “That Carla’s ordeal takes place in a country as hypervigilant about its infamous 21st century history as Germany is not insignificant. But the dramatic pressure cooker Çatak and Duncker have imagined could be set in any multicultural Western society — places where censorship and trial by media are increasingly the norm…. THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE is a pulse-pounding exploration of the ways we draw lines between enemies and friends, and the courage it takes to blur them.” —Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter “THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE is glorious…. You'll come away knowing that you’ve seen a proper movie, with its own theme and distinct aesthetic and strong personality…. Çatak and co-writer Johannes Duncker have tapped into a largely unexplored subcategory of the thriller, one with unlimited potential to illuminate everyday life.” —Matt Zoller Seitz, rogerebert.com