The Country Teacher (Bohdan Sláma, 2008): Czech Republic, France, Germany

Reviewed by Chloe Seaman. Viewed at The Santa Barbara Film Festival. 


I knew I had to see The Country Teacher, directed by Bohdan Sláma, when Roger Durling recommended it. And what he said about it was true; how it just flowed like water. The story is of a gay teacher who escapes city life to teach in the countryside, but still feels the internal struggles in this apparently serene environment. It’s a story of acceptance, love, and understanding.


To the majestic and tranquil countryside of the Czech Republic

A quiet and reserved teacher moves to teach at a new school

While asleep on a stack of hay one day

He awakes to meet a woman farmer and her teenage son

The son is troubled in school and cannot

Accept the ways of his mother or the goals of his girlfriend

The relationship between mother and son,

The un-accepting differences among them

Are a parallel to the teachers fear of


of he being gay.

He begins tutoring the teenage boy

And cannot resist temptation…

Though he seems the character to never do such a thing.

 How will he be accepted? How will he be loved?

And how will all the characters become to understand one another?


This was the most beautifully shot film—of the films I saw—at the film festival. It was so unique because each scene was just one continuous shot. By the sounds of that, it would seem boring; but boring is the last thing it is. The camera just flows perfectly and at every angle it turns to, an artistically beautiful photograph can be made of that single frame. The feeling that this cinematic technique portrays is a feeling of closeness to the characters moods because there is never a skip; you watch all the subtle actions. The quietness of these long shots leaves so much time to observe and absorb everything that’s going on. It allows you to really think about the film. The way it was shot was very inspiring to me because it was crafted so well to match the story itself. The Country Teacher is a must-see. 

About this entry