Charting the events within a small single-class village school over the course of one academic year, Etre et Avoir takes a warm and serene look at primary education in the French heartlands. A dozen youngsters, aged 4-10, are brought together in a rural classroom and taught every subject by a single teacher. A master of quiet authority, he patiently navigates the children towards adolesence, cooling down their arguments and listening to their problems with extraordinary dedication.
Soon, however, he will have to say goodbye to those older students, who are now ready to go onto the state school in the local town. Winner of a host of international awards, Etre et Avoir is a unique meeting of a director of remarkable talent and a man whose assured approach to teaching will have an impact, not only upon the lucky few children who share his wisdom, but upon anyone who sees this extraordinary and heart-warming film.
"The National Society of Film Critics awarded Nicolas Philibert's lovely To Be and to Have a 2003 Best Documentary prize for its pastoral grace and subtle power. Philibert spent a period filming the rhythms and activities within a one-room schoolhouse in France's rural Auvergne region, where a soft-spoken teacher of 35 years, Georges Lopez, instructs pre-middle school children of varying ages in everything from reading to the making of crepes. The tall, mesmerizing Lopez, nearing retirement, is both a formidable and loving presence in his classroom, and the bucolic remoteness of his school has a way of amplifying such ordinary student dramas as fights, lagging grades, and painful shyness. Philibert gets a lot of mileage out of the antics of a loveable kid named Jojo, the decaying friendship of two older boys, and the grief of a young man whose father has cancer. A unique and moving experience." --Tom Keogh
- Nicholas Philibert Interview
- Director Filmography
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- U.S. Theatrical Trailer
- Photo Gallery
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.78 : 1
- Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
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