Drama / 4 x 60' / HD, Airline, DVD, Format, Non-Theatric
An Easy Tiger Production for SBS Television; financed with the support of Screen Australia, Screen NSW & SBS
Matt Bashir, former Deputy Principal at a prestigious girls’ school, begins his first day as the new Principal at Boxdale Boys High. With unemployment rates twice the national average and more than half its residents born overseas, Boxdale is yet to find its social equilibrium and nowhere is this more evident than in the schoolyard. Though the job might seem like a poisoned chalice, Bashir is determined to make change and stop the school from imminent closure.
Bashir’s appointment is met with cynicism by a burnt-out staff and the students predict he won’t last a week. He works overtime to get the local community on side. Gradually, he wins over the school police liaison officer, Kellie, especially as he takes on the notorious Ahmad brothers, devoting much attention to the younger – the volatile Tarek – with whom he feels a connection. But just as it seems like he’s making progress, Tarek’s brother Karim is found dead on school grounds.
The police investigation threatens Bashir’s fledgling reforms, his support from staff and even his resolve. But he promises Tarek’s father, Mohammed, that he will not lose another son.
The Principal is a character-driven drama that evolves the ‘Inspirational Teacher’ genre films such as Dead Poet’s Society, Stand and Deliver and Lean on Me with a strong element of mystery and intrigue that echoes popular TV crime dramas The Killing, True Detective and Broadchurch, all inside the pressure cooker of a secondary school. Whilst a chilling tone pervades the murder investigation and Bashir’s own dark past, the ever-changing machinations of staffroom politics and the erratic energy of the students also bring a strong element of humour.
Ultimately it is a story of transformation – out of ignorance and despair and the transformation of self in order to move forward. The series explores the theme of masculinity and reflects on issues of gender, race and identity. It draws on Bashir’s passion for history to raise questions about civilisation and the rule of law. What makes us a civilised society? What makes a functional and safe community? What must we face about our past in order to find a hopeful future?
Alex Dimitriades as MATT BASHIR (The Tourist, Total Control, The Cry)
Aden Young as ADAM BILIC (The Code, Rake, I Frankenstein)
Mirrah Foulkes as KELLIE NORTON (Harrow, Top Of The Lake, Secrets & Lies)