To Be and to Have (Etre et Avoir)

Critics Consensus

A small, sensitive, and moving portrait of a teacher and his students.



Total Count: 59


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,975
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To Be and to Have (Etre et Avoir) Photos

Movie Info

A chronicle which follows an academic year in the lives of twelve school kids, ages 4-10, who are taught every subject, from math to gym, by one single dedicated teacher, Georges Lopez.


Critic Reviews for To Be and to Have (Etre et Avoir)

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (23)

Audience Reviews for To Be and to Have (Etre et Avoir)

  • Jun 26, 2013
    Apparently there was a lot of talk about the teacher and whether he was all that he appears to be which is seemingly the perfect teacher. This film brings out all the warm feelings of nostalgia for those early days of learning with the first teachers that we loved. Incredibly sweet.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2010
    A beautiful and intimately touching documentary about a dedicated and caring teacher in a one-room school in rural France, The students with all their unique, colorful personalities range from ages 3 to 11 and all learn to live and learn alongside one another. There were two parts that caused me to tear up. Sometimes we follow the students into their homes and watch them do their homework and chores. Sometimes we watch them go on field trips and get into fights and then forgive each other. The teacher upholds a firm yet gentle and sensitive approach to the children. It was a wonderful film that re-ignited my passion once again to teach.
    Dannielle A Super Reviewer
  • Jul 31, 2009
    Rather superifical and elitest account I dare say. Of course, school and education works different for kids when there is a 8 to 1 teacher ration, a beautiful countryside outside, all time in the world etc. BUt life is not so simple as this movie is suggesting and I reckon all the desperate, depressed, overclouded, ultraurbanized and stressed out citizens and their children did not choose to become what they are, because it is not about choice but fate. Anyway, the movie instulted me and as I said, offers nothing but an elitest and very singular vision. H.
    Henrik S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 26, 2009
    Great doc about a single room schoolteacher in the French countryside. Simple, slow moving, but completely engrossing...
    Grifty G Super Reviewer

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