A Package from England!

Etre et Avoir has arrived!

I really was like a kid at Christmas yesterday! My friend Anita Mathias, a writer and blogger from Oxford, sent me the movie Être et Avoir, an award-winning French film that we’d discussed, and it being difficult to procure here in the states, she generously mailed me her very own copy.

It was with huge surprise that I opened the mailbox yesterday, expecting some bills and ads perhaps, but not a package from England! I knew Anita was sending me the movie, but so quickly? She’s a professional!

The movie intrigued me first of all because it’s a French film, a genre I love, and more importantly, because it’s on the subject of education – in particular a one-room schoolhouse in rural France in modern times, not some century-old school. I honestly didn’t know this institution existed in France, but apparently there are quite a number of such little village schools.

Être et Avoir (2002) is a documentary by the celebrated French film-maker Nicolas Philibert that chronicles one full school year in the life of teacher Monsieur Lopez and his 12 students aged four to eleven in a French village in the Auvergne. It’s been called a movie that every teacher and parent should see, and it’s been said that M. Lopez has an extraordinary talent for teaching. For those of you (like me) who are engaged in multi-age teaching of small groups, I think Être et Avoir will be incredibly enlightening. My review will follow shortly.

And Anita intrigues me just as much. Her background is colorful and varied–born and raised in India, she tells a fascinating story of her conversion and her work with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. Anita goes on to live in America for a season, teaching at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and writing two books, Wandering Between Two Worlds and The Church That Had Too Much. She is happily now back in Oxford, raising two girls and a garden with her husband and business partner, Roy, oh, and running a publishing company. My kind of woman!

You can visit Anita at her blog, Dreaming Beneath the Spires, where you will be inspired and educated at every turn. And maybe you’ll end up with a free movie, too, someday.

{I’m saving my Royal Mail stamp, Anita.}

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3 Responses to A Package from England!

  1. Jen says:

    Merci beaucoup, Anita! Vous êtes une amie vrai!!

  2. Anita says:

    Thanks Jen, what a sweet post. I hope you enjoy the documentary!

  3. Anna says:

    What a precious gift!! I’m checking out Anita’s blog; looks educating and inspiring, just as you say!

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