Thursday, 27 May 2010


Petr is a young, overqualified science teacher who finds himself working at a school in a small rural village. Although he seems to be coping well in his new environment, some of the local adults are sceptical about his sudden appearance, with the headmaster of the school even raising questions. Petr finds comfort in a kindly woman named Marie, who is grateful for the presence of another man in her life besides her teenage son Lada. After a revelatory visit from his ex-boyfriend Mihi, Petr realises that he has taken this job as a way of running from his identity as a gay man. Worse still, he finds that he has fallen for Lada, who is discovering the joys of love with his girlfriend Bara.

In both content and style, The Country Teacher resembles the Korean feature Bungee Jumping Of Their Own, in which a teacher finds himself drawn to a male student he believes is the incarnation of his departed high school sweetheart. While the latter sounds excessively saccharine, it is the better-handled film of the two. In The Country Teacher, Petr deals with many feelings, including a forbidden attraction, but his stony demeanour means that some of his more surprising actions are hard to believe. In spite of this, the film does handle the dramatic moments realistically, and doesn’t forget the emotions of secondary characters in telling its story. An endearing tale of love and identity, The Country Teacher is no great shakes but definitely deserves a watch.

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