Učiteľka

Slovakia, Czech Republic 2017

Synopsis

Since the arrival of the new teacher, Maria Drazdechova, to a Bratislava suburban school in the year of 1983, life has turned upside down for students and parents. The teacher’s corrupted behaviour and the suicide attempt of one of the students, that could be related to that matter, makes the school principal call the students’ parents for an urgent meeting that will suddenly put the future of all the families at stake. They are asked to sign a petition to remove Miss Drazdechova from the school.

The teacher’s high connections within the Communist party makes everyone feel threatened, but at this point they have no choice but to make a decision: will they dare to go against Miss Drazdechova and stand up for what they believe in at any risk, or will they just remain silent and let things be?

Directors Statement

All adults and most children have experienced the feeling where something that might benefit you now might also be the wrong thing to do. Or the other way around: that following your conscience or moral code may be difficult or very disadvantageous. That’s why this story is understandable to everyone.

Biography

Born in Prague, Jan Hřebejk attended secondary school together with his film collaborator and screenwriter Petr Jarchovský, studying screenwriting and dramaturgy at Prague’s FAMU 1987–1991. Already during his studies, he caught the attention of the public as the director of short films like EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT WERE AFRAID TO EXPERIENCE (1988) and L.P.1948 (1989), both self-produced. These films won prizes at student festivals, as did his first feature film, YOU DO NOTHING BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT NO GOOD REASON, made for Czech TV. While still studying at FAMU, he co-wrote with Petr Jarchovský a film comedy set at a summer camp, LET'S ALL SING AROUND (1990) which became the first film of director Ondřej Trojan.

His career as a director was launched by the film musical BIG BEAT (1993), set in the 50s and adapted by Petr Jarchovský from a novel by Petr Šabach. In 1996, he made the children’s TV show WHERE STARS FALL which was shown in many European countries.
1999 was the year of the premiere of Hřebejk’s megahit COSY DENS, an enormously popular retro-comedy from the 60s about one historical generation. Hřebejk’s next film, DIVIDED WE FALL (2000), the story of a couple hiding a Jewish refugee in their home during World War II, was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.
Next was another highly successful retro-comedy, this one taking place in the eighties: PUPENDO(2003). One year later, Hřebejk returned with the bittersweet UP AND DOWN, a modern-day story that was recognised by the Czech Academy of Film and TV as Film of the Year. In between making feature films, Jan Hřebejk has directed several TV shows, documentaries, music videos, and commercials, as well as working in theatre.

Filmography:
2016 THE TEACHER
2013 HONEYMOON
2012 GARBAGE, THE CITY AND DEATH
2012 4SOME
2011 INNOCENCE
2009 KAWASAKI'S ROSE
2008 SHAMELESS
2008 I'M ALL GOOD
2007 TEDDY BEAR
2006 BEAUTY IN TROUBLE
2004 UP AND DOWN
2003 PUPENDO
2000 DIVIDED WE FALL
1999 COSY DENS
1993 BIG BEAT
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Cast & Crew

Directed by : Jan Hrebejk

Written by : Petr Jarchovsky

Produced by : Jan Prušinovský, Zuzana Mistríková, Lubica Orechovská, Ondrej Zima

Director of Photography : Martin Žiaran

Editor : Vladimír Barák

Production Design : Juraj Fábry

Costume Design : Katarína Štrbová Bieliková

Hair & Make up Artist : Anitta Hroššová

Composer : Michal Novinski

Sound Design : Jirí Klenka

Main Cast : Zuzana Mauréry (Mária Drazdechová)

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2017