To Be and To Have (2004) A muted, almost Zenlike meditation on teaching and childhood, To Be and to Have offers an ideal break from this year's spate of overly politicized…
Movie on DVD Review

To Be and To Have (2004)

Georges Lopez, To Be and To Have | 'BE' STUDENT Lopez and his heartwarming troupe get an A
'BE' STUDENT Lopez and his heartwarming troupe get an A
EW's GRADE
A

Details Release Date: Oct 19, 2004; DVD Release Date: Oct 19, 2004; Movie Rated: Unrated; Genres: Documentary, Foreign Language; With: Georges Lopez; Distributor: New Yorker

A muted, almost Zenlike meditation on teaching and childhood, To Be and to Have offers an ideal break from this year's spate of overly politicized documentary releases (Fahrenheit 9/11, anyone?). France's highest-grossing documentary film ever depicts a year in the life of dedicated teacher Georges Lopez and his students at a one-room rural schoolhouse in the country's Auvergne region. Balancing a portrait of the stern but calm instructor with the seemingly insignificant moments of the school day, director Nicolas Philibert shows us that even the smallest moments in a child's life can be fraught with drama.

EXTRAS Adorable outtakes of the young students reciting poetry, which raises the question. Would this movie be as great if the kids weren't so cute?

Originally posted Oct 22, 2004 Published in issue #789 Oct 22, 2004 Order article reprints