To Be and to Have

Critics Consensus

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

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 59

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,980
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To Be and to Have Photos

Movie Info

In rural France, schoolteacher Georges Lopez educates 12 children, whose ages range from 4 to 11 years old. Over the course of a year, the soon-to-retire Lopez instructs them all in one small classroom with the traditional tools of French teaching: rote repetition and the dictation of literary passages for copying. As the seasons pass, Lopez must keep his students disciplined while preparing the older children for the exams that will determine their educational future.

Cast & Crew

Alizé
Herself (student)
Axel
Himself (student)
Guillaume
Himself (student)
Johann
Himself (student)
JoJo
Himself (student)
Julien
Himself (student)
Létitia
Herself (student)
Georges Lopez
The teacher (himself)
Serge Lalou
Associate Producer
Philippe Hersant
Original Music
Laurent Didier
Cinematographer
Katell Djian
Cinematographer
Hugues Gemignani
Cinematographer
Nicolas Philibert
Cinematographer
Isabelle Pailley Sandoz
Production Manager
Show all Cast & Crew

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

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (57) | Rotten (2)

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

To Be and to Have (Etre et Avoir) Quotes

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