Being and Becoming explore the choice not to school ones children, to trust them and to let them learn freely what they are passionate about. Through four countries, the US, Germany (where ... 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
After Etre et Avoir received so many awards and was met with such fanfare, the teacher, Georges Lopez, sued the producer for compensation. Contractually he and the students were paid a set amount of money (low-budget documentary prices), however Lopez did promotional tours and thought he deserved a larger share after the film's success. The French judge did not rule in his favour. See more »
I can't say much about the film except that I love it. I don't want to come across like a 12 year old fan club president, but oh well. The main problem I have with many contemporary documentaries these days is that they tend to go for maximum entertainment, and little else. Overly slick, often gimmicky in nature, with flash editing and a cynical tone, they are instantly forgotten (i.e. Super Size Me, Inside Deep Throat, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, among many many others)
To be and To have, beyond entertaining is an INSIGHTFUL look into us as human beings, I know I know, a movie about the human condition, sounds corny or worse dull but it is far from either of those adjectives. The film follows a class of kinder gardeners in the French rural countryside for a year. It is both profound and simple to watch these children learn the everyday lessons of life. Even more amazing is that it does so without becoming overly sentimental or sugary. The film's point of view inevitably takes on that of a five year old, finding magic and greatness in the everyday mundane aspects of life. Highlights: When the teacher explains the concept of infinity to the children. Marie and Jojo in general are a delight. The handwriting lesson as insight into personality. I could go on and on. Just see it
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