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The Teachers' Lounge film image

The Teachers' Lounge


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One of the buzziest titles at Berlin this year, İlker Çatak’s gripping high school drama shows an idealistic young math teacher (the extraordinary Leonie Benesch) seeking to rectify what she reads as a miscarriage of justice, only to make matters unfathomably worse. New to her school, Ms Nowak is reluctantly drawn into the interrogation of two grade 6 class representatives after a series of thefts. They cast suspicion on a Turkish classmate, Ali, despite his proclamation of innocence even after a search turns up a surprisingly fat wallet. Convinced racism is at play, the teacher decides to set up a sting operation to uncover the true culprit. An ethics master class, the film vividly returns us to the everyday anguish of normal school life, when even seemingly the most straightforward problem can open up a minefield of mistrust and humiliation.


C.I.C.A.E. Award, Berlin 2023


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Vancouver Foreign Film Society logo


Leonie Benesch, Leonard Stettnisch, Eva Lobau, Micheal Klammer Anne-Kathrin Gummich

Country of Origin







In German with English subtitles

Film Contact
Content Warning


94 min
Action & Suspense Drama Women Directors

Book Tickets

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Ingo Fliess


Ilker Catak, Johannes Duncker


Judith Kaufmann


Gesa Jager

Original Music

Marvin Miller


İlker Çatak headshot

İlker Çatak

İlker Çatak was born in Berlin in 1984 and, the son of Turkish immigrants. He completed a master’s degree in directing at the Hamburg Media School. In 2017, Çatak made his first feature film, Es War Einmal Indianerland, the adaptation of the award-winning novel for young people by Nils Mohl. This was followed in 2019 by Es Gilt Das Gesprochene Wort. In 2021, the filmmaker adapted Finn-Ole Heinrich’s successful novel Rauberhande.

Filmography: Once Upon a Time… Indianerland (2017); I Was, I Am, I Will Be (2019); Stambul Garden (2021)

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