© Twentieth Century Fox of Germany GmbH

Die History Boys - Fürs Leben lernen (The History Boys)
U.K. 2006

Opening 17 May 2007

Directed by: Nicholas Hytner
Writing credits: Alan Bennett
Principal actors: Samuel Anderson, James Corden, Stephen Campbell Moore, Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour

Superb, thought-provoking and irrepressibly funny are just some of the adjectives describing Nicholas Hytner’s film based on Alan Bennett’s award-winning, subtle and deeply moving play about eight extremely lucid and witty working-class 6th formers in a local English private school. Their mission – to gain admission into Oxford in the fall of 1983 or so while their incorrigible culture teacher, Hector, and redoubtable history teacher, Totty, manage their preparation for university and life while dodging the headmaster’s obsession with league tables. As usual the introduction of a new teacher, Irwin, spins their modus vivendi into the commoditized and manipulating present. Show-stopping entr’actes worthy of Broadway and brilliant one-liners bracket a series of vignettes on fundamental topics such as the value and purpose of education; how and why history should be taught; and the difference between history and journalism. Most importantly the film’s urgency in teaching students how to think feels like Sunday in the park. It is neither politically-correct nor preachy. It is simply alive, like a bus full of horny and intelligent boys about to become men. Its conclusion has powerful implications for our roles in and responsibility for the kind of society we choose to live in. See this film. (Rita Pearson Schwandt)

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