Diana, a young, attractive teacher at a suburban Texas high school, is well-liked by her students and colleagues. Her life seems to be following the status quo, but in reality she’s having a secret affair with her student Eric. She confides in no one but him, reveling in the teenage terrain of sexting and backseat quickies. Even when the risk of discovery looms over their relationship, her investment in the fantasy remains stronger than reality. Unable to control herself, she heads down a reckless path of self-destruction.
The subject of a teacher-student affair may be tabloid fodder, but writer/director Hannah Fidell resists sensationalism or the temptation to pathologize her protagonist. At its core, Diana’s affair with her student is the manifestation of her avoidance of responsibility, and the film lets us in on her internal struggle. With bold vision, Fidell uses highly controlled pacing, silky camera movements, and a tense percussive sound aesthetic to free her narrative from the confines of convention, while a fascinating performance by Lindsay Burdge transports us into Diana’s head space, where her unabated obsession lives. - K. Y.
About the Director
Hannah Fidell is a director, writer, and producer based in Brooklyn and was recently named one of Filmmaker magazine’s annual “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” Two of her short films, The Gathering Squall and Man & Gun, screened at SXSW in 2012. A Teacher, which she wrote, directed, and coproduced with Kim Sherman, is her first feature film. In May, Fidell attended the Champs-Elysees Film Festival, where A Teacher was awarded the U.S. In-Progress Grand Prize.
Cast and Credits
Director: Hannah Fidell
Screenwriter: Hannah Fidell
Producers: Kim Sherman, Hannah Fidell
Cinematographer: Andrew Droz Palermo
Editor: Sofi Marshall
Production Designer: Elana Farley
Composer: Brian McOmber
Sound Designer: Pete Horner
Principal Cast: Lindsay Burdge, Will Brittain, Jennifer Prediger, Jonny Mars, Julie Phillips, Chris Doubek
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