During a harsh Montréal winter, an elementary-school class is left reeling after its teacher commits suicide. Bachir Lazhar, a charismatic Algerian immigrant, steps in as the substitute teacher for the classroom of traumatized children. All the while, he must keep his personal life tucked away: the fact that he is seeking political refuge in Québec – and that he, like the children, has suffered an appalling loss.
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