FilmWorks United International Working Class Film & Video Festival
The Teachers’ Protest – 2019 (78 min.) Directed by Jon Seal (UK)
1942. Occupied Norway. Teachers must join the Nazi Teachers’ League and teach Nazi ideas in their classrooms. 8,000 of them write protest letters. They are threatened with salary withdrawal and the sack. Still they refuse. In a desperate attempt to break them, the Nazi government arrests 1000 male teachers and sends them to prison camps, 300 miles above the Arctic Circle. The education system is in chaos and now the battle begins.
The Teachers’ Protest is an opportunity to learn about one of the most remarkable stories of passive resistance in World War Two – a story unknown outside of Norway. The documentary brings these events to an international audience through the memories of those involved in the protest. The drawings of Herlov Åmland, made in the terrible conditions of the Arctic prison camp, are brought to life through animation and become the dramatic heart. The Teachers’ Protest tells us how ordinary people stood up to horrific oppression in an extra ordinary way. Sadly, it is as relevant today as ever.
This feature length documentary uses interviews, archive footage, and the fascinating animation of original drawings to tell the teachers’ story to an international audience for the first time.