Mr Bachmann and His Class
Herr Bachmann und seine klasse
Winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, Maria Speth’s enjoyable and profoundly moving documentary searches for the true meaning of home and community.
Maria Speth, Reinhold Vorschneider
Germany 2021. 217min
New Wave Films
With English subtitles
Mr Bachmann and his pupils (aged between 12 and 14) live in Stadtallendorf, formerly the site of a secret Second World War munitions factory and now an industrial town that’s home to generations of economic migrants. The class is representative of this history, with several recent arrivals still struggling with the language of their new home. All the while, their sexagenarian, rock band T-shirt wearing teacher’s effortlessly egalitarian approach encourages students to develop empathy for one another through openness and listening. Shot over six months, Reinhold Vorschneider’s patient cinematography works with the spontaneity of the classroom environment to lend emotional weight to even the most fleeting moments. The pacing and observational method call to mind the work of Frederick Wiseman, yet Speth’s intimate approach creates an engaging and tender drama.
Hyun Jin Cho
Calling all film fans aged 16 to 25! Book £5 tickets in advance to see this film on BFI Player with your 25 & Under account. Sign up now.
You may also enjoy
Ride the Wave
Championship teen surfer Ben Larg, from the remote Scottish Isle of Tiree, prepares to roll the dice with the death-defying big wave surfers at Mullaghmore Head in Ireland.
Victoria Fiore’s astonishing feature documentary debut is a surreal journey of a young boy’s final days of freedom before he is taken away from his family.
A raw, in-your-face drama that offers a glimpse of life within a residential care home for at-risk teenage girls.