To Be and to Have Image

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 25 Ratings

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  • Summary: Inspired by the French phenomenon of 'single-class' schools, this film charts the life of a small one-class village school over the course of one academic year, and takes a warm and serene look at primary education in the French heartlands. (New Yorker Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. 100
    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.
  2. 100
    Hypnotically absorbing film.
  3. 90
    To Be and To Have works in the grandest tradition of documentary filmmaking -- it keeps company with a small, specific place going about its business, and from it parses the whole world.
  4. Exhibiting the same sort of patience as his sensible hero, Philibert has created an extraordinarily humane portrait of a partnership between one adult and his very fortunate charges.
  5. The emotional honesty of this movie rescues it from sentimentality. 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.
  6. Part of what makes a great documentary great is the subject, and though the film never scrapes below the surface of the schoolteacher -- we never find out if he lives alone or has children of his own -- Lopez pulls as hard on the imagination as a fictional character.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Simple but deeply touching documentary.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. AnnP.
    Sep 22, 2005
    I a long-time teacher, and I fell in love with the entire class - students and teacher.
  2. AnnP.
    Sep 22, 2005
    I a long-time teacher, and I fell in love with the entire class - students and teacher.
  3. FrancineH.
    Jan 24, 2007
    Warm and wonderful! It is the kind of movie that inspires and entertains. Georges Lopez is a gentle, kind, wise man with a heart for his students' successes. Lovely man and lovely film. Expand
  4. SteveF.
    Mar 11, 2008
    A feast for the eyes, mind, and heart. It is hard to imagine a better teacher, or a film better at catching the mystery of teaching.
  5. Jun 18, 2012
    [Simple but deeply touching, Magical sense of warmth, Graceful, Emotional absorbing]
    The sense of simpliness, incnocence and truthfulness
    astonishingly constructs one of the most unique and incredibly heart-warming films ever created. A Remarkable Accomplishment in the World of Film. Collapse

See all 12 User Reviews