To Be and to Have (Etre et Avoir)
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The one-room schoolhouse, where one teacher instructs several grades at once, is generally regarded a quaint thing of the past and a symbol of obsolete and ineffective teaching methods. However, the documentary To Be and to Have offers an in-depth look at a small school in rural France where one remarkable man has been doing the job of a small teaching staff for 20 years, and has taught several generations of bright and capable children along the way. Georges Lopez is an educator at a small school in France's Auvergne region, where between December 2000 and June 2001 he taught 12 students… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It demonstrates without overreaching what an actual teacher can do to shape lives."
‑ Peter Rainer, New York Magazine
"At times, it feels as stultifying as watching paint dry, without the recompense of sniffing fumes."
‑ Michael Booth, Denver Post
"The most unvarnished cinematic portrait of childhood I've ever seen."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"As touching as Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), this is an excellent companion to Spellbound, another beguiling documentary about children."
‑ Kent Turner, Film-Forward.com
"Auditing a class has never been more fun."
‑ Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone, TheMovieChicks.com
"A counterintuitive film about a small schoolhouse in rural France, To Be and to Have gets its punch from simple scenes and conversations."
‑ Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
"Watchful viewers -- particularly those with fond memories of a favorite teacher -- will be deeply moved by this film."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"One of those rare movies that works as a humbling experience."
‑ Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee
"The American school system would do well to take a page from Mr. Lopez's slow-but-steady curriculum."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"More often than not you may find yourself unexpectedly smiling."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"To Be and to Have is a movie every teacher should see, and every parent, too."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Amounts to a rare gift and an opportunity to appreciate the end of an era."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"This is a film that all aspiring teachers should see, as well as veteran teachers who might have lost track of what teaching is all about."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"It isn't just an ode to teaching -- it's a lesson in growing up."
‑ Donald Munro, Fresno Bee
"(Lopez's) teaching is simply one of the purest expressions of love I've ever seen on film."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
More reviews for To Be and to Have (Etre et Avoir) on Rotten Tomatoes