• 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, France, 2000s

Ratings & Reviews

  • 88
    Michael WilmingtonChicago Tribune

    A deceptively simple French film about teaching that keeps enlarging as you watch it, becoming beautiful and inspiring in a way most films never touch. show more

  • 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

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