Charting the events within a small single-class village school over the course of one academic year, 'Etre Et Avoir' takes a warm and serene look at primary education in the French heartlands. A dozen youngsters, aged 4-10, are brought together in a rural classroom and taught every subject by a single teacher. A master of quiet authority, he patiently navigates the children towards adolesence, cooling down their arguments and listening to their problems with extraordinary dedication. Soon, however, he will have to say goodbye to those older students, who are now ready to go onto the state school in the local town. Winner of a host of international awards, Etre et Avoir is a unique meeting of a director of remarkable talent and a man whose assured approach to teaching will have an impact, not only upon the lucky few children who share his wisdom, but upon anyone who sees this extraordinary and heart-warming film.
This fly on the wall docu movie from 2002 presents a time of serene and technology free childhood of a small group of children attending a school in very rural France. How lucky they were. I wonder if it still exists.