The Teachers Lounge


Country: Germany

Director: İlker Çatak

Cast: Leonie Benesch, Michael Klammer, Rafael Stachowiak, Anne-Kathrin Gummich, Eva Löbau  

Genre: Drama 

98 minutes: German with English subtitles – 2023

About this Film

When one of her students is suspected of theft the young sports and math teacher Carla Nowak decides to get to the bottom of the matter on her own. Idealistic, sympathetic and committed to her students, Carla tries to mediate between outraged parents, opinionated colleagues and aggressive students, but is relentlessly confronted with prejudice, cliquey dynamics and divisions, and the strictures of the school system. Things escalate rather quickly and dramatically, not always the way Carla intends.  

Tightly packaged and crackling with tension, The Teachers’ Lounge is about a lot of things — conformity, rebellion, racism, optics, and intergenerational mistrust.  This 3rd feature by İlker Çatak swept up the top prizes at this year’s German Film Awards: Best Film, Best Direction, Best Actress, Best Screenplay.  Leonie Benesch, one of the Berlinale’s 2023 Shooting Stars, puts in a breakout performance as Carla, one that will remain with you long after the lights have come on. Hot off the press news is that The Teachers Lounge has just been selected as Germany’s submission for next year’s Academy Awards.


A keenly observed and richly detailed study of the seismic repercussions that can come from the seemingly smallest of decisions, and how an era of social media and fake news is redefining human interaction.
Nicholas Bell,

Thrums from start to almost finish with the sweaty tension of a looming maths test.
Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Lessons are taught and taut in this gripping classroom-ethics thriller: it is a hard-hitting observation of how the human power play dredges out the divides and sharpens the fault lines even in a close and seemingly well-knit community.
Jessica Kiang, Variety

It makes the subtle but striking argument that school is not some sterile, cloistered haven in which we can safely prepare young minds for the challenges of the real world: It is the real world, and at every roll call, all those challenges are already present.
Jessica Kiang, Variety

Being a teacher is often a thankless job, but being a student is equally thankless for some!
Joseph Fahim, Middle East Eye