Movie Short Review: ‘2nd Class’

Greetings again from the darkness. Swedish filmmaker Jimmy Olsson continues his streak of excellent short films with the story of an idealistic school teacher’s reaction to the harshness that periodically accompanies real life.

We first meet Charlotte, a student recognized for her studies in Physics, as she announces that she is shifting tracks in order to become a school teacher and impact the lives of many youngsters. It’s an idealism we’ve seen many times on screen and in our lives. Hannah Alem-Davidson stars as Charlotte, and we quickly see her as a caring and devoted teacher … this is someone who is committed to making the world a better place.

One evening while walking with friends, Charlotte inexplicably stops in the middle of a Nazi rally, seemingly entranced by the chants of “Our people. Our race.” When her friends are unable to coax her from the road, the dark-skinned Charlotte is brutally attacked by an angry Nazi. She wakes up in a hospital bed.

When she returns to the classroom, Charlotte is stunned to discover that one of her students (played by Milo Ademark) is actually the son of the Nazi who attacked her. Her response is to teach the young student about love and hate … providing her first real opportunity to make the difference that first inspired her to pursue teaching. Filmmaker Jimmy Olsson not only plays the Nazi, he has crafted a 14 minute short film gem.

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