Nicolas Philibert – Étre et avoir AKA To Be and to Have (2002)

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How do we learn to live with others and their wishes? Director Nicolas Philibert poses this question in a village schoolhouse in Auvergne, where Georges Lopez teaches 13 children, ages ranging from about four to 12. Against a landscape of mountains and farmland, from driving snow to rain to sun, the children gather in Lopez’s warm and colorful classroom, to read, write dictation, cook, and sort things out. At home, the older ones do homework with parents after their chores. At year’s end, they look ahead to the next, visiting the middle school and meeting the little ones coming in the fall. As they learn sums and adjectives, with Lopez’s help, they also learn to live side by side -IMDb Continue reading

Nicolas Philibert – Le Pays des sourds AKA Land of the Deaf (1992)

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IMDB –
“I saw this lovely documentary once, some ten years ago, and found it most rewarding. Its tone was dignified and understated, having a gently moving cumulative effect. The most salient impression I had of the film’s subjects was how expressive they were with their faces and bodies in revealing their emotions and thoughts. As a cinephile, I could not help but think of the vanished acting styles of silent cinema, of how so much had to be conveyed through purely visual means, and of how comparatively impoverished, from a visual viewpoint, so much modern cinema is. Rightly or wrongly, I perceived a more direct correspondence between feeling and expression in the people depicted in this film than is the norm among hearing people, and this suggested hidden treasures within these subjects’ lives that could be of benefit to us all. What has traditionally been seen as a handicap came to be seen as an inextricable, richly beautiful thread in the human tapestry, and this film must be conceded to be a masterpiece for showing us this truth.” Continue reading