DVD To Be and To Have (DVD 17332182),
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To Be and To Have

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • At a rural school in the Auvergne region of France, teacher Georges Lopez presides over a class of thirteen children, ages 4 to 11. Lopez teaches the different age groups separate lessons, making rounds to ensure that each child understands the task at hand--whether it is coloring a picture, learning math, or making crepes. Problems do arise, though--one student is threatened with missing playtime if his work isn't finished, shoving matches must be mediated, and another student appears to have a significant problem communicating. Lopez, a 20-year teaching veteran on the verge of retirement, is a model of sensitivity and understanding in dealing with the children. Never raising his voice and never talking down to them, the trust and respect they have for him is as palpable as his affection for them. Director Nicholas Philibert's camera is a casual observer, choosing to capture, in an unfettered manner, Lopez's special way with the students--whether explaining to them that he will be retiring soon, or diffusing a long-running rivalry between two of the oldest boys. Inspiring, meditative, and delightful, TO BE AND TO HAVE is a bittersweet portrait of a man in the noblest of professions.
  • Critic Reviews
    "...Superb...graceful...strong -- another beauty in this year of good documentaries..."
    Entertainment Weekly

    "100 minutes of gripping observational drama set in a rural French classroom."

    "...The film is as quiet, patient and tenacious as Mr. Lopez himself, who approaches his difficult, endless work with serenity and discipline..."
    New York Times

    "...An unhurried model of nonfiction filmmaking and a vision of life at its most persuasively humanistic..."
    Los Angeles Times

    "It's a lump-in-the-throat killer."
    Total Film

    "The film represents a beau ideal of education, a vision of how the process can work at its very best."
    Wall Street Journal

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