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533 Ratings

To Be and to Have

Être et avoir

Directed by Nicolas Philibert
France, 2002


A charming and intimate portrait of a single-class primary school in rural France and its inspirational teacher, the remarkable and wise Georges Lopez, whose patient and enlightened methods highlight a genuine affection for his young charges.

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To Be and to Have Directed by Nicolas Philibert

What are people saying?

  • SiIencio's rating of the film To Be and to Have

    Etre Et Avoir is above all a tribute to a forgotten kind of education, one that champions human values, feeds the intellect and strenghtens the character, with respect and understanding of the essential needs of children. The film succeeds thanks to Philibert´s sensibility and understanding of the richness of this seemingly mundane environment and the honest and dedicated work of the genuine and kind monsieur López.

  • Vlad's rating of the film To Be and to Have

    There is a remarkable shot at the beginning, of large and old trees swaying in the winter wind, moving as if alive and playing. A strong sense of community, children helping one another, arguing, getting distracted, learning. Julien helping his family take care of household, later the family huddled around him helping out with the math homework. The teacher conscious of the transient relationship with his students.

  • Gianni Naka Candellari's rating of the film To Be and to Have

    documentario di rara delicatezza. lo guarderei miliardi di volte. <<segnato dal desiderio del contatto con gli altri e interessato alle regole dell'apprendimento, della comunicazione, del rispetto. I tredici scolari “a noi, che li guardiamo vivere sullo schermo, ricordano i bambini che siamo stati. E l'uomo che vorremmo essere” (L. Barisone). E che dovremmo essere>> (

  • mpho3's rating of the film To Be and to Have

    "It’s one thing to see movies like Dead Poets Society and Goodbye Mr. Chips... but To Be and to Have has a far greater emotional impact because it demonstrates without overreaching what an actual teacher can do to shape lives. ...To Be and to Have is about more than a dedicated teacher and his pupils; it’s about how difficult and exhilarating it is to grow into an adult." - Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

  • Calvin Head's rating of the film To Be and to Have

    To Be And To Have follows a class of kids in the countryside of France. A heavy focus on the teachers involvement w/ the kid reveals a rarely seen part of childhood education. The camera work, drawn out wide shots w/ breathtaking landscapes allow you to feel omniscient in the kids lives then the drastic shift to up close shots of conversations make you feel a part of the scene. You begin to feel like one of the kids.

  • Ben Dooley's rating of the film To Be and to Have

    A very warm depiction of a single school class, with younger and older students, in a French village. It captures so much detail and variety of childhood experience; the teacher's patient attention and the students' interactions with one another - fights, friendships. It feels almost as though the cameras were never turned off, giving some very private scenes, including some without the teacher. Human and inspiring!

  • Susana Bessa's rating of the film To Be and to Have

    Human and rare, this is a very unique documentary that quickly translates itself into a sweet heart-warming and touching experience back into childhood and teaching, the most loving feeling ever recorded on film before. It took me back into nostalgic times having been brought up by a teacher myself.

  • El Biffo's rating of the film To Be and to Have

    My takeaway: Children in France learn how to flip crepes at school!

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