School and Education

As school starts again after the summer vacation, we take a look into different classrooms around the world.

Detachment (2011)
Tony Kaye
United States
98′
A chronicle of three weeks in the lives of several high school teachers, administrators and students through the eyes of substitute teacher, Henry Barthes. Henry roams from school to school, imparting modes of knowledge, but never staying long enough to form any semblance of sentient attachment.
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with bonus
Bal - honey (2010)
Semih Kaplanoglu
Turkey
100′
Bonus: Interview with Semih Kaplanoglu
Six-year-old Yusuf has just begun attending primary school where he is learning how to read and write. His father, Yakup, is a beekeeper. He goes about his trade deep inside the woods where he hangs up his bee hives in the treetops of the highest trees. The mountain forest is a place of deep mystery to Yusuf and he derives great pleasure from accompanying his father there. One morning Yusuf tells his father about a dream he had the night before. Yakup turns on him curtly telling him never to share his dreams with others. The same day, Yusuf is asked to read out a text in front of the class. He suddenly begins to stutter and he is laughed at by the rest of the class. One day the bees suddenly disappear, throwing into question the family’s means of earning a living. Yakup decides to set off for the remote mountains. But no sooner has he left, than Yusuf stops speaking. His mother Zehra, who works on a tea plantation, suffers a great deal on ac count of her son’s sudden loss of speech, but is unable to persuade him to speak. The days pass - and still Yakup does not return. Mother and son begin to worry. Yusuf goes to his grandmother’s place in a neighbouring village where he spends the magical night during which the prophet’s arrival is celebrated. When he hears the story of the prophet he is convinced that his father, with whom he identifies the holy man, will come home again. Yusuf and his mother set off on a fruitless search for signs of his father’s whereabouts after which Yusuf decides to continue the search for his father on his own. His is a journey into the unknown. Will the dream he had be - come reality?
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Anina (2013)
Alfredo Soderguit
Uruguay
78′
Anina Yatay Salas is a pensive redhead who really does not like her name. Each part is a palindrome, which means it reads the same both forwards and backwards. Her schoolmates are always teasing her about this, especially Anina’s arch-enemy Yisel. When these two get into a playground fight one day they are sent to the school head who disciplines them with a nerve-racking punishment: they are both given a sealed black envelope which they are not allowed to open for an entire week. Haunted by nightmares, the days drag by endlessly for Anina. She and her inquisitive best friend try to devise all sorts of ways to discover what is inside the envelope. Gradually, Anina begins to realise that not only does Yisel share her fate: she also has much bigger problems to contend with than Anina. Tentatively, the two rivals begin to get to know each other. Narrated by the voice of the young protagonist, the film is able to follow Anina’s thought processes and provide an insight into her emotional world. Anina’s day-dreams are not always about her troubles and woes - they also reflect her awakening feelings of love.
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Hexenkinder (2019)
Edwin Beeler
Switzerland
97′
The movie recalls children who suffered mental and physical harm both during the last century, particularly in religious orphanages, and during the time of early modernperiod witch-hunts. It shows that the mindsets and behavioural patterns of both time periods are more alike than one might think.
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Liyana (2019)
Aaron & Amanda Kopp
Swaziland
76′
LIYANA is a story born in the imaginations of five orphaned children in the Kingdom of Swaziland. The film follows the children, Zweli, Sibusiso, Phumlani, Mkhuleko, and Nomcebo, as they collaborate to tell the original tale of Liyana, a fictional character whose early life bears remarkable similarities to their own. The world that the children imagine for Liyana is brought to life in an innovative style of animated artwork. This hybrid film weaves documentary scenes together with the animated adventure. LIYANA is executive produced by British-Zimbabwean actress, Thandie Newton, with artwork from rising Nigerian talent, Shofela Coker. Under the guidance of acclaimed South African storyteller, Gcina Mhlophe, the children transform their darkest memories and brightest dreams into fuel for their fairytale. After an idyllic early childhood, Liyana’s world is shattered when her father contracts HIV and both of her parents die. Inspired by a recent real-life robbery, the children decide that there will be a frightening attack at Liyana’s family homestead. In the aftermath of this terrible night, the girl and her trusty sidekick, the family bull, embark on a dangerous, beautiful, and often humorous quest into the wilderness. Hunger, wild animals, and treacherous terrain stand between Liyana and an uncertain fate. As our young storytellers move their fictional character forward through trial and temptation, we periodically return to intimate documentary scenes of the children’s lives in Swaziland - nightly rituals, herding cattle, and a trip to a local clinic for an HIV test. The children’s creative journey is echoed throughout the film by allegorical scenes of the group hiking down a steep ravine in search of a mysterious river. These intertwining narrative strands work together to draw connections between Liyana and the children. As the real and imagined worlds begin to converge the children must choose what kind of story they will tell - in fiction, and in their own lives.
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You Will Die At 20 (2019)
Amjad Abu Alala
Sudan
102′
Sudan, province of Aljazira, nowadays - When Muzamil was born, a prophecy by the holy man of the village predicts that he will die when he is 20 years old. Muzamil’s father cannot stand the doom and travels away from home. Sakina, as a single mother, raises her son with over protection. One day, Muzamil turns 19.
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Lunana - A Yak in the Classroom (2020)
Pawo Choyning Dorji
Bhutan
109′
Struggling with his profession as a teacher, Ugyen is sent to Lunana in northern Bhutan for his final year of training. With a warm welcome, the local children try to win him over but they do not have much time...
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Ex Libris –The New York Public Library (2017)
Frederick Wiseman
United States
197′
A documentary about how a dominant cultural and demographic institution both sustains their traditional activities and adapts to the digital revolution.
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Class Enemy (2013)
Rok Biček
Slovenia
112′
Due to a huge difference in the way they perceive life, the relationship between the students and their new German language teacher becomes critically tense. When one of the students commits suicide, her classmates accuse the teacher of being responsible for her death. The realisation that things are not so black and white comes too late.
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