• To Be and to Have (2003)

To Be and to Have

Release Date: September 5th, 2003

Not Yet Rated |1 hr 45 min

Plot Summary

In rural France, schoolteacher Georges Lopez educates 12 children, whose ages range from 4 to 11 years old. Over the course of a year, the soon-to-retire Lopez instructs them all in one small classroom with the traditional tools of French teaching: rote repetition and the dictation of literary passages for copying. As the seasons pass, Lopez must keep his students disciplined while preparing the older children for the exams that will determine their educational future.

Cast: Alizé, Axel , Guillaume , Johann, JoJo , Julien , Létitia, Georges Lopez

Director: Nicolas Philibert

Genres: Documentary

Production Co: Canal Plus Image International

Distributors: New Yorker Films

Keywords: Growing up, 2000s, France

Ratings & Reviews

  • 90
    Joe MorgensternWall Street Journal

    It is, simply and stirringly, a kind of beau ideal of education, a vision of how the process can work at its best.

  • 100
    Michael SragowBaltimore Sun

    Little miracles spring up throughout this picture. show more

  • 100
    Wesley MorrisBoston Globe

    Nothing momentous happens here, but Philibert has a magical sense of how to find the simple poetry lurking in the universal routine of being a kid. A lot of the film's lyricism is extracurricular. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Film Not in the English Language
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (2004)