Monsieur Lazhar

“I rejoiced, at the thought that I was going to live upon bread and milk, like a hermit in the Thebiade, plunged in the world of books and ideas, in an inaccessible sphere, in the midst of all the tumult of Paris, the sphere of work and of silence, in which, after the manner of a chrysalis, I was about to build myself a tomb, in order to emerge again brilliant and glorious.”

–Honore de Balzac

Monsieur Lazhar is a beautiful film about teaching as well as facing up to death / any other tough questions. The teacher (Monsieur Lazhar) faces up to his own past as he encourages his students to do so. He likens children to caterpillars, who must too build their own chrysalis and burst through on their own account.

It tells us very poignantly that shying away from problems is not going to make them go away. It shows us that children are mature enough to rise to challenges simply because they will naturally grow when required. Though some might deem it saddening that children should regard the stark reality so early on in their lives, I prefer to think that it is precisely these kids who will become the greatest of people when they grow up.

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