Film: The Teachers’ Lounge



In The Teachers’ Lounge, Carla Nowak (an impressive Leonie Benesch) arrives as a new teacher at a German school, full of enthusiasm and ideals.

It’s not long before she gets caught up in a maze of confusion and distress as the school struggles to deal with the turmoil arising from a series of minor thefts.

Director Ilker Catak, who wrote the script with Johannes Duncker, has produced a tense drama in which the school’s internal policies and prejudices seem to mirror those of society in general.



Ali, son of a Turkish immigrant family, is found to be carrying a lot of money and is accused of theft. His parents say the money is his allowance and accuse the teachers of racism.

Carla unwisely decides to set a trap by leaving her wallet in the teachers’ lounge and secretly filming it on her laptop.

The film shows someone in a distinctive blouse taking money from her wallet. Friederike Kuhn (Eva Lobau), a school administrator and the mother of one of Carla’s students, is wearing an identical blouse, and Carla contronts her.



To her surprise, Friederike not only furiously denies the theft but accuses Carla of invading her colleagues’ privacy with her secret recording.

From that point on, the school is engulfed in controversy and anger as teachers, parents, students and staff get caught up in the conflict.

Watching the film is a stressful experience, the tension accentuated by Marvin Miller’s unsettling music.



Leonie Benesch is flawless as the well-intentioned teacher whose efforts to support her students rebound with devastating effects.

Director Catak, who initially found it hard to get backing for the film and then had trouble in selling it, was surprised and delighted when it became a hit at the Berlin film festival, was selected as Germany’s international film entry to the Academy Awards and became one of the year’s most acclaimed films.

The Teachers’ Lounge opens on Thursday, April 25, at Luna Leederville and Luna On SX.

Watch there trailer…