Venkovský Ucitel (The Country Teacher) (2008)

Venkovský Ucitel (The Country Teacher)



Critic Consensus: Bohdan Slama's stunningly filmed dramedy is loaded with full-bodied characters and quietly sincere performances.

Movie Info

A man struggles to understand and accept both himself and others in this pastoral drama from Czech filmmaker Bohdan Sláma. Petr (Pavel Liska) is a schoolteacher who has grown tired of life in Prague and wants out of his dead-end relationship with another man. Petr is still coming to terms with his sexuality, and he decides to take a job in a small farming community where he can start his life over. As Petr settles into his new teaching position, he strikes up a friendship with his neighbors -- a … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Bohdan Sláma
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 8, 2009
Film Movement - Official Site


as Ucitel

as Prítel

as Principal
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Critic Reviews for Venkovský Ucitel (The Country Teacher)

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (10)

It's the kind of film that Hollywood used to excel at but no longer seems interested in making.

Full Review… | August 19, 2009
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

The film boasts subtle performances and curious situations with unpredictable outcomes.

Full Review… | July 23, 2009
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The film is graced with lovely performances by Pavel Liska as the teacher, Zuzana Bydzovska as Marie and Ladislav Sedivy as the boy.

Full Review… | July 10, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Despite all the pain and self-loathing of its wounded characters, it's a pretty, heartwarming picture that tells us everybody needs somebody to help shatter that ol' boulder for good.

Full Review… | June 26, 2009
Washington Post
Top Critic

Liska, who looks like a Central European version of the young Harvey Keitel, has a kind of pitch-perfect opacity.

Full Review… | May 21, 2009
Boston Globe
Top Critic

It's a movie that demonstrates, if you'll pardon the sports metaphor, how deep the bench is in Eastern European film.

Full Review… | April 3, 2009
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Venkovský Ucitel (The Country Teacher)

This was a film that will make some very uncomfortable and that portrays some very real people dealing with some very real issues. Petr (Pavel Liska) is a tormented soul who relocates from a posh private school in Prague to a small-town public school. The reasons for his leaving only become clear as the film progresses. He befriends a widow, Marie (Zuzana Bydzovská), and her troubled son, Lada (Ladislav Sedivà 1/2). But the friendship is hampered by Petr's personal issues, and by the history that his new friends have experienced. All of this is carefully revealed through a natural story-telling style that kept the viewer engaged. There were a few issues that rankled, including some playing to stereotype, and a couple of very annoying characters. Although the flaws keep this viewer from giving it more than three stars, it was not enough to put one off completely.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

In "The Country Teacher," the headmaster(Cyril Drozda) wonders why Petr(Pavel Liska) has come to the country from Prague to teach. Could it have something to do with his formerly teaching in the same school as his mother(Zuzana Kronerova)? Regardless, Petr fits in well in his new home, befriending Marie(Zuzana Bydzovska), a single mother and farmer, but chooses not to reciprocate her feelings. And he's gay, by the way.

"The Country Teacher" is a gentle movie whose impact is lessened by its rambling episodic structure. On the other hand, it does work well with the bucolic setting of a small town where the rapid transit consists of tractors and a rowboat.(Actually, there is one bus...) And the movie gracefully treats its characters without condescension, using the slow pace of the characters' lives to represent the slow pace of the acceptance of gay rights in the Czech Republic. Along these same lines, the movie takes a very cautious approach(we find out Petr's gay when he tells his mom) and in a dark moment, it reinforces a particularly nasty stereotype.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

The Country Teacher showed the love and loss from the people of a dairy farm in the Czech Republic. It was an inspiring movie about the struggle of a gay teacher for acceptance in a small village. The movie had beautiful cinematography of the Czech countryside.Most of the movie was shown through the view of the main character, the teacher, but also showed us how things could be different, not always were gays accepted.The teacher clearly had secrets, the plot did not showed much as the movie fold on his integration into an environment different from the world of Prague where he came from.I don't want to go into details about the story, if the gay teacher should be forgiven for what he did or not, watch for yourself, it was very strong and very touching.

Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

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