The Teachers' Lounge

98 mins.
Directed by İlker Çatak
PG-13
German, Turkish, and Polish w/subs; English
2024

Nominated for 1 Oscar:

  • International Feature

Last day Thursday, Feb. 22.

Carla Nowak (Leonie Benesch) is a dedicated, idealistic young teacher in her first job at a German middle school. Her relaxed rapport with her seventh-grade students is put under stress when a series of thefts occur at the school, and a heavy-handed staff investigation leads to accusations and mistrust among outraged parents, opinionated colleagues, and angry students.

Caught in the middle of these complex dynamics, Carla tries to mediate but she is mercilessly confronted in the process by the structures and politics of the system. The more she tries to do everything right, the more desperate her position becomes.

With THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE, award-winning director İlker Çatak (I WAS, I AM, I WILL BE) creates an uncompromising, nuanced work about the institution as a microcosm of society.


“Taking on the uneasy complexity of a progressive modern society, and the friction produced when pluralism and an insistence on order and obedience collide, is a bold move, and THE TEACHERS' LOUNGE pulls it off with a sense of tension that makes the whole thing play like a thriller. There’s a level on which it’s darkly funny, especially if you’ve spent time around preteens.” Alissa Wilkinson. A New York Times Critic's Pick!