Carla Nowak (Leonie Benesch) is a committed and creative young teacher at a German middle school. It’s her first job, and she is determined to connect with her students. She even gives one a Rubik’s Cube to encourage his interest in math.

But her zeal in educating her seventh graders comes under fire when some thefts occur in the school and a student in her class is a suspect. The administration pressures the two class representatives to point out who they think might be involved. Then the wallets of the boys in her class are searched.

Leonard Stettnisch as Oskar

Things get more complicated when Carla sets up her laptop to record anyone touching her wallet, which is left visible in her jacket on a chair in the teacher’s lounge. She accuses Friederike Kuhn (Eva Lobau), the school secretary, of taking her money. Kuhn denies the charge, despite the incriminating video, and leaves the school; her son Oskar (Leonard Stettnisch), remains in Carla’s class. The young teacher now Carla finds herself caught in the crossfire between the administrators, teachers, students, parents, and even the reporters on the school newspaper.

Director Ilker Catok does an incredible job conveying the stress and inner agony suffered by Carla as she faces the consequences of anger, disrespect, and dishonesty by those who blame her for the school’s crisis. But this story can be seen as more than the problems faced by one teacher. Here the school is a microcosm of society at large where individual rights (in this case, children’s) are subverted by those in power. Responses range from widespread distrust, to illegal behavior, the use of surveillance cameras, crackdowns on freedom of expression, and the dissemination of fake news. Leonie Benesch excels in her zealous portrait of a brave woman who refuses to give in to the chaos around her.