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The Lesson (2014 Latvian film)

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Language  Latvian
Director  Andris Gauja
Country  Latvia
The Lesson (2014 Latvian film) movie poster

Writer  Lauris Gundars, Andris Gauja, Aleksandrs Grebnevs
Release date  August 27, 2014 (2014-08-27) (Montreal)

The lesson official trailer 2014 film by andris gauja

The Lesson (Latvian: Izlaiduma gads) is a Latvian narrative feature film directed by Andris Gauja and released in 2014. The film is Gauja's debut film. It tells the story of a young teacher, including her relationships with her students, their parents, and her loved ones.


The Lesson (2014 Latvian film) The Lesson Izlaiduma gads Riga Review Hollywood Reporter

The lesson trailer festival 2014


The Lesson (2014 Latvian film) parkulturulvuploadevent2014091139bigIzlaidu

An attractive Russian-language teacher takes a new job in the Latvian city of Riga, mentoring an unruly group of seniors who are approaching their graduation. She heroically wins her students' trust by holding drunken parties in her apartment and shrewdly takes control of the class; however, one of the male students then begins pursuing her. Gauja directs this suspenseful plot with subtlety and empathy, allowing this character-driven story to unfold with all the messiness of real life.

Film Festivals

The Lesson has been shown at the following film festivals:

  • Montreal World Film Festival - First Films World Competition Program
  • Bergen International Film Festival - Extraordinary Films Program
  • "KINOSHOCK" Film Festival (Russia)
  • Chicago International Film Festival - World Cinema Program
  • Connecting Cottbus Film Festival (Germany) - Focus "Queer East"
  • Cast

  • Inga Alsina as Zane
  • Marcis Klatenbergs as Max
  • Ieva Apine as Inta
  • Gatis Gaga as Uldis
  • Ivars Auzins as Eriks (Zane's husband)
  • Andrey Smalyakov as Georgiy (Max's father)
  • Marina Janaus as School Director
  • Aigars Ligers as Olafs (Uldis's son)
  • Liena Smukste as Inara
  • Edgars Silins as Kristaps
  • Elza Feldmane as Evita
  • Agirs Neminskis as Alex
  • Development

    The development of this film began late in 2010, when Andris Gauja and Aleksandrs Grebnevs decided to continue their collaboration in the film industry and make a new film. This took place after the release of their award-winning film Family Instinct.


    Andris Gauja and Lauris Gundars wrote the screenplay in collaboration.


    The casting for this film was particularly difficult, because Gauja wanted to make a film that would be as realistic and credible as possible. For this reason, very few professional actors were accepted for the roles: instead, most of the characters were portrayed by amateur actors with no previous experience.


    The film was shot in various real-life locations: no scenes were shot in a studio.

    Most of the scenes were shot in Riga, Latvia. Two schools were used for the filming: Jāņa Poruka vidusskola and Friča Brīvzemnieka panmatskola


    Tho original music for the film was written by Andris Gauja and several others.


    'The Lesson' received its first screening at the Montreal Film festival and subsequently played at various other film festivals, including the Bergen International Film Festival in their 'Extraordinary Films Program', the Kinoshock Film Festival (Russia), the Chicago International Film Festival in their 'World Cinema Program' and the Connecting Cottbus Film Festival (Germany) in their 'Spectrum' section.

    Critical reception

    Many people who had viewed the film, especially women in their late 50s and 60s, were shocked. They described the movie as "outrageous" and claimed that it should not be available for public viewing. This was because they saw the film as an illustration of the worst experiences that could possibly be taken from school, and considered the film's plot unrealistic and untrue.

    However, the opinion among younger audiences was much more positive. Younger viewers believed, on the contrary, that school life was not being reflected harshly enough by the film, since real-life situations in schools can often be much worse and far more intense.

    In general, this was a film that often attracted strong opinions (whether good or bad) from its audiences.

    Home media

    The film was released to cinemas on Blu-ray, DVD and DCP, none of which were available for public purchase. After considerable complication with the physical discs, the authors of the film insisted on using digital formats instead.

    Awards and nominations

    Despite the film's unexpected success in Latvia, 'The Lesson' did not receive any Latvian nominations.


    Despite the financial obstacles which the film faced, it was already a well-known topic of intense discussion amongst young people even before its premiere in Latvia.


    The Lesson (2014 Latvian film) Wikipedia