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Class Enemy (2013) - Plot Summary Poster

(2013)

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Summaries

  • Relations between the students and the new teacher of German are extremely tense. When one female student commits suicide, her schoolmates blame the teacher for her death. An awareness that things are not quite so black and white comes too late... (based on true events)

  • Sabina, a quiet, introvert and not particularly popular girl, who stays in school after hours to play Chopin, is being put down by the new German teacher Robert, after which she goes home and commits suicide for reasons unspecified. The class is in shock. Suddenly everyone was fond of Sabina and they all look for a scapegoat to put the guilt on. The evident choice is Robert, a gruff, strict and demanding professor but devoid of any educational skills, who expects his students to speak to him only in German and uses Thomas Mann, his life and his writings as a constant reference in his class. Giving his students low grades and putting them down on every occasion he has, he is soon "the Nazi" whose conduct drove Sabina to despair and this is a good enough reason to walk out of his lessons, organize protests when he does not attend the funeral, and throw the smoothly functioning institution into turmoil.

  • Robert, the new German teacher, is aloof, authorative and demanding. He lectures on Thomas Mann and expects his pupils to rise when he enters the room. He might even be a Nazi, the dismayed teenagers speculate. When his student Sabina takes her own life shortly after being reprimanded by Robert, the teacher is considered to be cause. Instantly, vengeful youth rebellion stirs among the benches. In tones of chilly blue, Rok Bicek captures the fierce power struggle between teacher and students in a nuanced and genuinely thought-provoking way. Many films of recent years have been set in classrooms, but few have been as intense, well played and succinct as Bicek's directorial debut.


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