To Be and To Have

Nicolas Philibert

This charming little film has everything that people dislike about French films and everything people like about French films. It’s showing two more nights at the Castro, 7:00 and 9:20, (to Wednesday).

It’s not often that a small documentary gets a week run at the Castro. They chose this one well. Rather like Varda’s Gleaners, this film follows a small classroom of children from ages four to eleven as their teacher steers them through an ordinary year’s worth of little victories, heartreaking losses, careless insults (“you’re just as strong as him, but sometimes words hurt people too..”) and tender affirmations. It’s a fantastic little window on to the fragile little people we all were at one time, and captured by the kind of film-making that’s rare this side of the Atlantic.