Title – ‘The Country Teacher‘
Director – Bohdan Sláma
Starring – Pavel Liška, Zuzana Bydžovská, Ladislav Šedivý, Marek Daniel
Release Date – 2008
It’s Wednesday!! Only 2 more workdays until 4th of July weekend! I don’t know what your plans are, but I’m venturing into the desert and drinking Tiki drinks poolside for 4 days straight. Heaven… Did everyone see the exciting news about ‘Screwed’ being picked up by Dekkoo out of Frameline?? I’ve seen it and it’s an incredibly sexy Finnish tale of first lust with a great sense of humor about it. I talked to a few people who saw it at the sold-out screening at Frameline and they said it was a super high energy screening. Get psyched!
As a city-living boy for most of my life I’ve always romanticized the life lived in the countryside. When I saw ‘The Country Teacher‘ at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival back in 2008 it completely fed into that romanticism and I was swept away by the golden fields of hay and the ancient practice of drawing of water from wells. Of course we’re also talking about a movie from the Czech Republic so in addition to the romantic stuff we’re also talking about insane Eastern European drunks that harass people and beat each other up. Although come to think of it that seems sorta romantic as well…
Anyways let’s talk about the characters at the heart of this emotional drama. Petr is a teacher that decides to move to the countryside from the busy city for unspecified reasons. After arriving and settling in (his landlord/boss gives him 6 months before he can’t stand the small town anymore and runs away) he falls asleep on a bed of hay and wakes up to find Marie standing over him, the woman who owns the farm he’s wandered into. She’s kind to him and invites him out to socialize with some of the villagers. He comes to realize that Marie is falling in love with him, but he’s too awkward to admit what we here at Dekkoo realize right away… he’s gay. He really likes her and feels affection for her, but he’s much more interested in her teenage son and offers his teaching skills to become more ingrained in his life.
I don’t want to go into much more detail because Petr goes through quite a journey in the film and it’s very emotional. By the end of the film you’ll absolutely fall in love with Marie who is so unbelievably kind and I fear that there aren’t many of her sort left in the world. ‘The Country Teacher‘ is a striking picture that combines the best of European art-house cinema and Queer self-discovery cinema into one wondrous picture that will leave you swooning.
Watch it with: By yourself or someone else that won’t talk much. It’s very meditative.
Mix it with: Coffee.