Matthew Lickona 1:30 p.m., March 12
From French Canada, a stirringly direct, human film about an émigré Algerian who talks his way into teaching at a Montreal school. He helps repair the traumatized morale of students and staff after a loved teacher commits suicide. In the fine cast (the kids are beyond just acting), Mohamed Fellag as Lazhar has the power of an unpretentious life force, vulnerable but imposing. At heart, Philippe Falardeau’s film is about civilization at work, one day and one child at a time. 2012.
— David Elliott