Directed by Jan Hřebejk | Slovakia | In Slovak with English subtitles| 102 mins | M
WINNER: BEST FILM, ACTRESS, SCREENPLAY, AUDIENCE AWARD, CZECH ACADEMY AWARDS 2017
SELECTED: SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2017
Zuzana Maurery gives an award-winning performance as an unscrupulous school teacher in this crowd-pleasing dark comedy set in Communist era Czechoslovakia.
Politically connected Maria Drazdechova’s (Maurery) arrival at a school quickly leads to competitive sucking up. By carefully noting the professions of her students’ parents, the unscrupulous teacher has a directory of services available to her: household repairs, free haircuts, grocery shopping and even the international smuggling of baked goods are all services required by Maria in exchange for favouritism. But some parents are unable, or unwilling, to give, setting the scene for a conflict between those who have acquiesced and those who resist. Hřebejk (Cosy Dens, SFF 2000; Divided We Fall, SFF 2001) is in top satirical form and uses this microcosm to make cutting points about society at large.
"A surefire crowd pleaser… Maurery handles her character, a nasty piece of work to be sure, with such natural aplomb that she makes Mrs Drazdechova not only perfectly credible but pretty scary too." – SCREENDAILY
"Zuzana Maurery (named best actress at Karlovy Vary) tears into the part of a lifetime as a terrifying instructor who heads the local Communist party and uses her pupils to manipulate their parents for her own personal benefit. [An] intelligent and universally resonant crowd-pleaser." – VARIETY