Synopsis: Detachment is a chronicle of three weeks in the lives of several high school teachers, administrators and students through the eyes of a substitute teacher named Henry Barthes. Henry roams from school to school, imparting modes of knowledge, but never staying long enough to form any semblance of sentient attachment. A perfect profession for one seeking to hide out in the open. One day Henry arrives at his next assignment. Upon his entry into this particular school, a secret world of emotion is awakened within him by three women. A girl named Meredith in his first period. A fellow teacher Ms. Madison, and a street hooker named Erica, whom Henry has personally granted brief shelter from the streets. Each one of these women, like Henry, are in a life and death struggle to find beauty in a seemingly vicious and loveless world.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Tony Kaye
Production: Tribeca Films
  8 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
98 min

Let's, uhm... Let's not have

people come in.

I'd like to do this without

anybody in here.

Could everybody split, that

doesn't have to be here. Thanks.

- Maybe we can keep...

- And close the door.

- Keep people away from the door.

- Is that good?

Yep. Thank you

"And never have I felt so

deeply at one and the same time

so detached from myself

and so present in the world"

(Albert Camus)

French philosopher and writer

"For Henry"

I wasn't good in school.

I didn't care for school.

Uhm ... It was nice socially,

my own experience, but

I kinda just went along...

I started off as a music major.

I was gonna be

a Rock 'n' Roll star.

But that didn't quite

work out.

In 1985,

during a hurricane,

hurricane Gloria,

I was walk... I was taking

a train into the city to work.

I'd gotten to work and I was on

the phone with my brother-in-law,

who had just

started teaching,

and he said that he was

off from school.

Now, now,

wait a second,

You're off from school

for hurricane

and I'm goin' into the city

to work in an Office building?

I said:
"Woa, that's a

pretty good kick, right."

My mom was a teacher and I knew

without a shadow of a doubt

from early childhood that

the one job I would never do

was become a teacher.

Never ever I would take

toll cards on a turnpike.

I'd be a shepard, anything,

rather than become a teacher.

I decided to become a teacher

because I wanted to do

something with my life besides

what I was doing

which was driving a truck,

for a company and,

I decided I wanted to do

a little bit better for myself

so I got into teaching

a little bit.

I went back to school

at the age of 37.

A friend of mine from college...

His aunt was the...

Principle of an all-girls

inner city school

in Newark, New Jersey, and

they were desperate for teachers

So, I thought "Great,

I can do this for a year,

it'll keep my father from making

me get a job at Prudential,

and then I'll figure out

what I wanna do."

Well, they called me up

asking me to go to an interview,

and I happened to get an job

in a Junior High school,

in Queens,

and I ended up...

starting it at my...

What's now?... my 30th year.

Most of the teachers here,

at one point...

...they believed...,

that they could

make a difference

You know, I know

how important it is to

have guidance and to have

someone help understand

the complexities

of the world

that we live in.

I didn't really have that

growing up.


Written by:

Directed by:

I am money.

I change hands

like a dollar bill

that's been robbed

by a lamp

when a genie appeared

and cried loudly, with volume.

But the tears were

all for myself.

And that's where it

all went wrong.

Hi, Lupe, Dean Vargas here.

I'm sick and I won't be

coming in today, allright?

Get to the point, Dr. Heart.

I've got a school to run.

The State's score have gone

down in the last three years.

- You're not delivering... - Don't pretend

like you don't know the game.

You earmarked my school

as the transfer dome

for the worst kids in

the district.

Well, kids deserve an education,

don't you agree?

I agree you're jerking of

and wasting my time.

- Get to the point, Dr. Heart...

- We need consensus builders.

- New methodology.

- You're corportizing the system.

No, we're cleaning house.

Our superintendent feels that

it's time your stepped down.

Babe, you got some f***in'

nerve coming into my yard

with the heart f***in' self.

Carol, there was a time

when you were an educator.

You were very well respected.

Why don't you go

out on top?


Everybody sit down

and shut up,

or I'll start pulling out

the referrals.


Sit down!

I am starting the DVD.

I am starting the DVD.

- Barth or Barthes

- Barth. Mr. Barth.

Mr. Barth Henry

So you've taken long term

assignments at the

"Lock and McArthur"?

The Fringe.

Well, that's... That's...

This a month-long assignment,

until I can fill it permanently.

I asked to meet with you

because you come

highly recommended as the

best sub on the call sheet.

That's a somewhat

dubious endorsement.

I agree, Mr. Barth.

You'll find many of your

students functioning

well below grade level.

That's your task to try

and get them caught up.

Teach the Curriculum,

most importantly.


- Good morning

- Good morning

I'm Mr. Barth

Those of you who haven't

heard, this is English 11 A.

- Yes

- Yeah

Listen up, I have one rule.

Just one.

If you don't wish to be here

don't come.

Dude, what does that mean?

It's not dude, it's Mr. Barth.

The S is silent.

- You're f***in' gay.

- Marcus, shut up!

No, you shut up!

You diet B*tch!

Hey, Marcus.

Guess what.


You're free to leave.

- Like right now?

- Like right now.

- Hiya...

- See you later, man.

- What's the f***? You want me

to go to the Dean's Office?

- I don't care where you go.

Everyone pull out

a sheet of paper.

I'd like to assess what your

individual writing skills are.

What if we got no paper?

Okay here is the situation.

You're dead.

- Alright, write an brief

but detailed essay about...

- Hey jackass! I asked you

a f***ing question!

...about what a friend

or a parent

might say about you

during your funeral. OK?

- You have 30 minutes.

- Oh, sh*t...

I asked you a motherfuckin'

question, didn't I?

Anything else?

You'd better back the f*** up

before I f***in' wreck your sh*t.

Rate this script:3.5 / 2 votes

Carl Lund

Carl Lund (23 September 1884 – 29 May 1940) was a Swedish wrestler. He competed at the 1908 Summer Olympics and the 1912 Summer Olympics. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Detachment" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 May 2024. <>.

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