The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
Nominated for best foreign language Oscar, this intimate school drama focuses on Algerian political refugee Bachir Lazhar, who starts working in Montreal as a teacher.
His class has a tragic past — the kids are traumatised after their previous teacher committed suicide.
With dignity and fragility, Lazhar delicately empathises with the children’s grief as the film chronicles events in the classroom through the year.
Yet as Lazhar helps his pupils, questions of his own past emerge. Quebec director Falardeau’s films always contain elements of social commentary and in this one — an at times poetic reflection on the choices we make and the implications they have for ourselves and others — there’s a bold commentary on the school system and how we relate to immigrants.