Nadezhda is a young, hardworking teacher in a small Bulgarian town. One day she is shocked to discover that there is a thief in her class. Determined to find out who it is so she can teach him or her the difference between right and wrong, at the same time she is frantically struggling to deal with the looming foreclosure on her house and the squanderings of her unemployed, drunk husband. As financial ruin closes in, personal values meet their test. Grozeva and Valchanov maintain a seemingly dispassionate air in the face of their heroine’s escalating desperation, a distance that only increases their story’s emotional impact. The Lesson offers a tough, unsentimental education in the limits of honesty when confronted with brutal economic reality. New Director Prize, San Sebastian Film Festival. First feature.