To Be and to Have Image

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 27 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: 25 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Sep 23, 2014
    This movie is a portal, leading to a living museum of childhood at its most poignant.
  2. So superb, so graceful, so strong -- another beauty in this year of good documentaries -- that I do believe it will influence career choices, sending inspired viewers to study pedagogy, or cinematography.
  3. 90
    This heart-wrenching documentary about a French village schoolteacher at work offers the comedy and pathos of great drama and the visual magnificence of painting.
  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 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  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. 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
  5. 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.
  6. Oct 26, 2014
    This movie is beautiful in so many ways - the main character's unaffected and honest way of communicating with the kids, the charming setting, the melancholic feel of knowing that this is the final year of so so many for the teacher/ protagonist. If you need something to watch that will make you feel warm and fuzzy (and perhaps shed a tear) look no further - a beautifully executed film about a wonderful man that will fill you with hope, no matter how cynical you may feel. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews