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The Teacher, an award-winning mystery-crime drama from Poland, premieres in the US tomorrow.

The Teacher
The Teacher: Maciej Stuhr as Pawel Zawadzki — Photo © Robert Palka, courtesy of PBS Distribution / Walter Presents

Maciej Stuhr (Aftermath, Walesa: Man of Hope, Without Secrets) stars as the titular character in The Teacher (Belfer), which won the Best TV Series award at the 2017 Polish Film Awards. He plays Paweł Zawadzki, a high school teacher newly arrived in the (fictional) town of Dobrowice from Warsaw.

It seems a bit odd for Pawel to come to Dobrowice, at least in the minds of the school principal and the sports coach. He’s well-educated and taught at private institutions in Warsaw; why would he want to leave the big city and a good career for this dying town, especially when he’s only getting part-time hours on a six-month contract to teach Polish?

The plot thickens.

Prior to Pawel’s arrival and the start of the school year, three male students find the lifeless body of a female in the woods. The girl was Joanna; one of the boys who found her is, rather was, her boyfriend, the now grief-stricken Maciek (Józef Pawlowski, Jack Strong). Also beside herself at the loss of her close friend is Ewalina (Paulina Szostak, Television Theater), a friend and classmate of Maciek.

Joanna’s death is ruled a suicide, but after a bit more digging, the police reclassify it as a homicide and are on the hunt for the killer.

And Pawel takes a keen interest in the murder, more than one would think for someone who is new to town and has no apparent ties to anyone in Dobrowice save for his aunt, at whose home he’s staying. The thing is, one local swears he remembers Pawel from 1996 — Leslaw Dobrzanski (Krzysztof Pieczynski, Occupied), the newspaper editor and town drunk.

Adding to the mystery of who Pawel really is is his snooping around, going from the crime scene to the home of Joanna’s parents, looking for info and insights about her death.

Meanwhile, Grzegorz Molenda (Grzegorz Damiecki, The Pact), the father of two students at Pawel’s school, has concocted a scheme that will bring 1500 new jobs to town and make the investors rich men, himself included. He just needs buy-in from certain politicos to make a killing.

The ten-episode first season costars Magdalena Cielecka (The Pact), Katarzyna Dabrowska (The Innocents), Cezary Lukaszewicz (Loving Vincent), and Mateusz Wieclawek (World on Fire).

The Teacher, a Walter Presents program, premieres in the US tomorrow, Friday, December 13, on the PBS Masterpiece channel on Amazon and the Walter Presents digital channels.


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The Teacher: Dark Polish Mystery-Crime Drama Set to Premiere in the US