top of page


Interesting characters, intriguing ambiguous drama and fine acting draw you into The Teachers’ Lounge until the third act takes a sledgehammer approach to the central moral conundrum.

There is much to love and even admire in The Teachers' Lounge, which explains why Germany entrered the film as its official Oscar candidate this year. The premise is strong, as are the performances and the handle director Ilker Çatak gets on the complex, nuanced subject matter.

The picture centres around a temp teacher who struggles to reconsile her own morals and values with those of the rest of the teaching staff when she ends up in the middle of a theft scandals that antagonises pupils and teachers alike.

During the first hour this results in a taut, thematically strong and often suspenseful drama, carried by an excellent Leonie Benesch performance, who finds a perfect balances between all the conflicting emotions bubbling up inside her.

About sixty minutes in two consecutive scenes knock the nuance completely out of The Teachers' Lounge though, one which sees Benesch rather implausibly questioned by school paper journalists, another one that feels more at home in an overtly combattive message movie.

That blunt morals completely override plot and character in the third act doesn't do justice to the excellent filmmaking The Teachers' Lounge displays elsewhere but to some extent this was inevitable with a central dilemma that boxes the filmmakers into an inescapable corner, as evidenced by the unfortunate cop-out the movie ends on.

release: 2023

director: Ilker Çatak

starring: Leonie Benesch, Leonard Stettnisch, Eva Löbau, Anne-Kathrin Gummich


bottom of page