Oscar-nominated director, writer would consider social worker film
Canadian screenwriter and director Philippe Falardeau, who was recently nominated for a Foreign Language Oscar for his film “Monsieur Lazhar,” said he would consider doing a film about a social worker on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
“Yes, I have characters popping in my mind,” Falardeau told SocialWorkersSpeak.org by telephone. “It would be somebody who has been working to help others but comes to a point where they are nearly having a breakdown or depression because it is always about somebody else’s problems.”
“I think it would be a great character,” he said.
Falardeau also said he could weave in the stories about the social worker’s clients to create an even richer drama. “It has to be set up in a social canvas,” he said. “That’s why it would be interesting to me.”
Falardeau, who said he believes social workers do such valuable work they should earn the same salaries as professional baseball and hockey players, has never shied away from complex issues in his films.
In “Monsieur Lazhar” Algerian immigrant Bashir Lazhar (actor and comedian Mohamed Fellag) becomes the substitute teacher for a middle school class that is still grappling with the loss of its popular young teacher to suicide. However, Lazhar is coping with trauma of his own.
The movie also explores issues that would be familiar to many social workers, including grief, childhood education and the status of immigrants in the West.
Falardeau, 44, who studied Canadian politics and international relations before he got into filmmaking, is now working on a political comedy. Although he has gotten notice in Hollywood with the Oscar nomination he said he prefers to keep doing smaller, intimate films that explore the human condition.
“I’m not interested in studio movies,” he joked. “But if they offer me a James Bond film I’ll do it.”
Falardeau and Previd Consulting are offering social workers a chance to see “Monsieur Lazar” at the E Street Cinemas in Washington, D.C. at 7 p.m. on April 12. We have a few tickets to share on a first-come, first-serve basis. The film is in French Canadian with English subtitles. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.| Leave A Comment