The Teachers' Lounge (2023)
New 7th grade teacher Carla
Nowak (Leonie Benesch) witnesses the interrogation of students in her class by
members of the faculty when a student is suspected of stealing money. The boy
accused, however, has an alibi.
after that incident, Nowak witnesses a minor theft in the faculty lounge. In an
attempt to solve the recurring crimes, she sets up her laptop camera facing her
jacket draped over a chair. After capturing an arm of someone wearing a
distinctive blouse on the hidden camera, Nowak accuses faculty member Mrs. Kuhn
(Eva Löbau), but soon has doubts about her accusation. It all
spirals out of control to the point that the student newspaper wants to
interview Nowak about the incident.
The performances here are good and
naturalistic, and the child actors, like Leonard Stettnisch, who plays Kuhn's
son Oskar, don't hit any false notes. Benesch is a solid lead as the new
teacher who is in over her head.
Solving the mystery of who is taking
the money isn't the point here. It's a study of how an accusation can cause
guilt and paranoia. This German drama, directed by İlker Çatak,
often plays like a sweat-inducing thriller. However, it is not a true thriller
or, like previously stated, even a mystery but an effective morality tale.