An intimate, picaresque inquiry into French life as lived by the country's poor and its provident, as well as by the film's own director, Agnes Varda. The aesthetic, political and moral ... See full summary »
How do we learn to live with others and their wishes? Director Nicolas Philibert poses this question in a village schoolhouse in Auvergne, where Georges Lopez teaches 13 children, ages ranging from about four to 12. Against a landscape of mountains and farmland, from driving snow to rain to sun, the children gather in Lopez's warm and colorful classroom, to read, write dictation, cook, and sort things out. At home, the older ones do homework with parents after their chores. At year's end, they look ahead to the next, visiting the middle school and meeting the little ones coming in the fall. As they learn sums and adjectives, with Lopez's help, they also learn to live side by side. Written by
A stunning document on the nature of education as captured in beautiful, impressionistic pulses. The sights, the sounds; a construction of utmost simplicity whose structure, diaphanous and fluid, ignores commentary in favor of the subtleties of humanity, maturation and interaction that emerge from the froth of randomness that tethers each day to the next.
"Être et Avoir," the title, is presumably a reference to the two most important verbs used (and the earliest learned) in both French and English, "To be and To have," echoing the film's theme of capturing the struggle to acquire knowledge and, eventually, the struggle to impart it.
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