A tragedy in a classroom.
That's the starting point for a new film called "Monsieur Lazhar," which opens today in Los Angeles. It's a moving portrait of a teacher and his class of young students as they struggle to heal from a major trauma that rocks their school.
The film was nominated for the best foreign language Oscar this year and it recently swept Canada's top awards show.
The film is director Philippe Falardeau's fourth feature, adapted from a one-person play by Evelyne de la Chenelière, and centers on an Algerian substitute teacher trying to teach a group of Montreal middle-schoolers after a school tragedy.
Despite the slew of accolades he's received, Falardeau said he still doesn't really consider himself an artist. Part of that hesitancy stems from the fact that he fell into film-making by chance.
Philippe Falardeau is a Canadian film director and screenwriter.