AKA: Venkovský Ucitel
Directed by: Bohdan Sláma
Starring: Pavel Liška (Teacher), Zuzana Bydzovská (Marie), Ladislav Sedivý (Boy), Tereza Voříšková (Girl), Marek Daniel (Boyfriend)
Country: Czech Republic; Effed Up European Movies
Language: Czech; Czech-Slovakian Films
Genres: Family, Gay, Old-Young Relationships, Animals
Plot – Spoilers:
How easy is it to fuck up all the good you’ve done, through one big mistake? And how much atonement is sufficient to earn forgiveness?
A young Czech teacher moves to the country to take up a teaching position that he is clearly overqualified for. The rustic folk there soon take to his polite underwhelming presence, and he too feels mostly welcomed and respected. But there is a wariness he lugs around, as he struggles to hide his homosexuality.
A farmer widow is attracted to his helpful nature and despite him rejecting her overtures, appreciates him for taking time out to help her dull teenage boy. The boy feels stupid, in his own words, around his city-girlfriend who often drops by to visit her grandmother and who seems to look at him merely as a vacation-diversion.
The Country Teacher encapsulates the style and class of modern Czech cinema and captures peasant realism like in a couple of scenes that feature the delivery of a calf, one of which is stillborn. You might also recall the lead actor, Pavel Liška, from Lunacy.
You could argue that the teacher’s concern for the boy was mostly because he was always in love with him. But this goes against his general demeanor towards everyone else. Perhaps it’s more likely that he just fucked up once. The scene where he molests the boy is tense and you wouldn’t be alone if you paused it midway, muttering out aloud, “Don’t do it man.”