After a teacher hanged herself in the classroom her pupils are left traumatized. Finding a replacement is difficult and so the principal gives the job to Algerian immigrant Bachir Lazhar after initial hesitation. Despite his strict and more oldfashioned methods than usual in the school he soon obtains the confidence of the class. He strives to encourage the students in processing their teacher’s violent death. And as we find out he is no teacher and he too has got memories to cope with.