Film Series: Lessons Learned: Teachers and Students on Film

Join us this fall as we go back to school in a film series exploring the relationships between students and teachers. Spanning decades and continents, the stories portrayed in these films delve into the unique and transformative role that teachers play in their students’ lives—and sometimes the unexpected ways in which students influence their teachers.

Doors open at 5:00 p.m. No reservations needed.


Film still from The Browning Version.             

The Browning Version
(1951), NR

Directed by Anthony Asquith
Friday, October 19, 5:30–7:00 p.m.

Andrew Crocker-Harris (Michael Redgrave) is an embittered, middle-aged schoolmaster who begins to feel that his life has been a failure. Diminished by poor health, a crumbling marriage and the derision of his pupils, the once-brilliant scholar is compelled to reexamine his life when a young student offers an unexpected gesture of kindness. A heartbreaking story of remorse and atonement, The Browning Version is a classic of British realism. 

 Film still from Picnic at Hanging Rock      

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1976), PG
Directed by Peter Weir
Friday, October 26, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

In the early 1900s, Miranda (Anne Lambert) attends a girls’ boarding school in Australia. One Valentine’s Day, the school’s typically strict headmistress (Rachel Roberts) treats the girls to a picnic field trip to an unusual but scenic volcanic formation called Hanging Rock. Disobeying the rules, Miranda and several other girls venture off. It’s not until the end of the day that the faculty realizes that the girls and one of the teachers (Vivean Gray) have disappeared.

 Film still from Madadayo      

Madadayo (1993), NR
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Friday, November 2, 5:30–7:45 p.m.

In 1943, as the tide of war shifts against Japan, Professor Hyakken Uchida (Tatsuo Matsumura) leaves his teaching position to begin his career as a writer. With the warm wishes of his students, he sets out to start anew. His former students decide to visit the professor to thank him for all the good he has done as their dutiful teacher. Madadayo is composed of distinct episodes based on Uchida’s writings that illustrate the affection and loyalty felt between Uchida and his students.

 Film still from To Sir, with Love      

To Sir, with Love
(1967), NR

Directed by James Clavell
Friday, November 9, 5:30–7:15 p.m.

American Mark Thackeray (Sidney Poitier) recently received his degree in engineering but cannot find work. To make ends meet, he takes a job as a teacher in a rough school in the East End of London, populated mostly with troublemakers who were rejected from other schools for their behavior. While the students at first see Thackeray as just another teacher to ridicule and bully, his calm demeanor and his desire to see them succeed gradually earn him their respect.



Photo credits: The Browning Version (1951), Universal Pictures/Photofest © Universal Pictures; Picnic at Hanging Rock (1976) © Janus Films; Madadayo (1993) © Janus FilmsTo Sir, with Love (1967), Columbia/Photofest © Columbia Pictures.