“These grades do not reflect who you are at all; they are only snapshots. What’s much more important is that you are all terrific kids.”
Our movie recommendation for this week is an absorbing and sensitive 3.5-hour documentary about Dieter Bachmann, a teacher in an industrial town in Germany, and his class of teenage pupils from Turkish and other immigrant backgrounds. It won the Silver Bear at the 2021 Berlin film festival Berlinale. It is the testimony of an incredibly skilled teacher and very special man who—with patience, human insight, and gentle leadership—is able to create an atmosphere of respect, learning, and mutual understanding in class. His pupils come from 12 different nations; some have not quite mastered the German language. Mr. Bachmann succeeds in guiding these future citizens of Germany into a curiosity about life, country, and the world that will always remain with them.
Mr. Bachmann is the epitome of the teacher we all wish we’d had and that we wish all children could experience.
Mr. Bachmann and His Class can be watched with English subtitles on various platforms. Viewers in the U.S. may need to use a VPN with a European location.
“Mr. Bachmann and His Class” Review: Learning From the Best (The New York Times)