Bonjour Film Lovers!
Huge apologies for the delay in this Tuesday Review. The internet has been going crazy demanding an update on MNFC’s latest exploits. But your humble reviewer has been moving house, travelling and general London summertime shenanigans. But here it is, at long last, a story of a steamy hot night in Kew, and the latest fantastic film choice, Etre Et Avoir.
Comrade Lisa helped cool off the balmy evening in good style, as we settled down to this brilliant fly-on-the-wall documentary, about a rural French school for a handful of children of various ages, and their inspirational teacher Monsieur Georges Lopez.
Opening in the middle of a very snowy winter, we are impartial observers throughout the film, to the changing seasons and the learning and growing of a delightful class of children. The documentary was made over 10 weeks, shooting for a maximum of 40 minutes each day, as to not disrupt the children’s education.
Paul McInnes, writing for the Guardian, seems to reflect the underlying mood of MNFC as we watched this beautiful film:
M Lopez appears to be nothing short of the ideal teacher (half pedagogue, half pastoral mentor), this film feels almost like it’s floating above its situation, its real subject the beauty and complexity of the human being.
If that sounds a bit gushy, that’s probably because I only stopped watching Être et Avoir a short while ago and I still feel a little choked up.
And who didn’t get a tear in their eye at the cheeky exploits of Jojo, one of the film’s stars, or when M Lopez talks to Olivier about his father’s cancer diagnosis, or to Natalie about how hard she finds interacting with others and her shyness. And then there’s Alize, whose quiet shock and outrage at having her rubber stolen is palpable!
Comrade Lisa then served us up a themed dessert of tarte tatin, and in the French vibes of the chin-stroking we once again mused over what documentaries are, what they mean, how to define them. As proved by our previous film Tabloid, this is not an easy question to answer.
But, we did agree once again, that Maths is Everywhere (just as Comrade Susan insists), even if it is a bit hard and requires your extended family to help with your homework. And, that Etre Et Avoir demonstrated a fantastic array of knitwear. Whilst watching Jojo get felt-tip pens all over him, we also lamented that our daily work doesn’t involve more colouring in – but fear not, there indeed are many adult colouring books available (no, not those sort of adult books!).
The classroom pets also prompted some warnings from the team regarding terrapins and their deadly nature. Click here for more. You have been warned!
And I’ll leave you with the real dilemma posed by our in-depth chin-stroking; can ducks survive without legs?
Our next review will come courtesy of our beloved Founder… so watch this space.
Au revoir les enfants (hmmm, now that does sound familiar)