Mr Bachmann and his class

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This German documentary about the somewhat untraditional teacher Dieter Bachmann is completely without fuss or frills. And yet you become so entrenched in the lives of his ragtag bunch of students, that you almost forget you are watching a film. You become a part of this lesson of life. 

Mr. Bachmann teaches pupils from different backgrounds and different abilities. Some are newly arrived in Germany and can hardly speak the language. Others thrive both academically and socially. The film is shot at a time when it will be decided which of them are to go on to higher education, and which ones are going to start vocational training. Their grades will to a large degree decide their future path.

Mr Bachmann is a teacher who sees his pupils, a teacher who listens, but who also stands up for them and expects them to do the very best they can. Almost four hours could seem a bit long for a documentary about students and their not incredibly eventful lives. Yet, as soon as you get used to the rhythm of the class, and the small industrial town they live in, time flies. When it's all over, you will be almost sad that you will not follow your new favorite teenagers on in their lives.


Maria Speth (b. 1967) studied directing at The Konrad Wolf Academy for Film and Television. She writes the scripts for her own films, and usually works with cinematographer Reinhold Vorschneider. She won both the Silver bear and Audience award at the film festival in Berlin for Mr Bachmann and his class.


2014 Töchter / Daughters
2011 9 Leben / 9 Lives (Documentary)
2007 Madonnen / Madonnas
2001 In den Tag hinein / The Days Between
1999 Barfuß (Short)

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