Nicolas Philibert’s loving account of a year in a tiny French primary school high in the Auvergne watches as the school’s sole teacher Georges Lopez guides, encourages and occasionally gently chides the children in his care.
Nothing extraordinary happens: no major crisis, no dramatic climax, just one small scuffle. Which is precisely the film’s strength.
This is Lopez doing, with patience, persistence and quiet dedication, just what he’s always done. In a heartening film, the only downside is his announcement of imminent retirement.
Future generations of kids will be lucky to find such a mentor.