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This Teacher

A reunion between two childhood friends goes awry in this disquieting portrait of a young Muslim woman visiting New York for the first time.

Dir Mark Jackson
Prod Mark Jackson, Dana Thompson, Gigi Graff, Josh Mandel, Javier Gonzalez
Scr Mark Jackson, Dana Thompson
With Hafsia Herzi, Sarah Kazemy, Lucy Walters
USA
2018
92min
Prod Co Right on Red Films

What horrors await us when we leave home, when we swap the bustle of the city for the silence of the remote? And what lurks beneath things unsaid? This is the murky world of Mark Jackson’s wholly distinctive character study. Gifted a ticket by her childhood best friend, Hafsia (Hafsia Herzi) arrives in New York with little money. Disoriented by the persona her friend projects to this world, French-speaking Hafsia impulsively books herself a remote cabin upstate. There, she is confronted by both conservative responses to her (foreign) presence and the unnerving solitude of her surroundings. A quietly unsettling flirtation with genre conventions, rather than a straightforward thriller, Jackson gently builds a multi-layered sense of unease, culminating with truly terrifying insights into the monsters within us all.

Jemma Desai

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