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4/4/2014 4/6/2014 Focus on French Cinema Greenwich
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5/2/2015 5/2/2015 Wexner Center Columbus OH
5/8/2015 5/10/2015 Cleveland Museum of Art Cleveland, OH

On the Way to School

France, 77 min 

Documentary

1.85 , Dolby

They live in all four corners of the planet and share a thirst for knowledge. Almost instinctively they know that their wellbeing, indeed their survival, depend on knowledge and education. From the dangerous savannahs of Kenya to the winding trails of the Atlas mountains in Morocco, from the suffocating heat of Southern India to the vast, dizzying plateaux of Patagonia, these children are all united by the same quest, the same dream. Jackson, Zahira, Samuel and Carlito are the heroes of “On the Way to School”, a film that interweaves the four pupils forced to confront and overcome countless, often dangerous obstacles – enormous distances over treacherous territory, snakes, elephants, even bandits – on their journey to the classroom. By setting foot on their extraordinary path, by embarking on this adventure littered with traps and challenges, they will begin to leave their childhoods behind. Pascal Plisson’s film recounts the journey of initiation that will change their lives forever.

DIRECTED BY

PASCAL PLISSON

CAST

NOURA AZZAGAGHZAHIRA BADICARLITOZINEB ELKABIEMMANUEL J. ESTHERGABRIEL J. ESTHERMICAELAJACKSON SAIKONGSALOME SAILONG

Director PASCAL PLISSON Story & Screenplay PASCAL PLISSON Producer BARTHELEMY FOUGEA Cinematography PASCAL PLISSON SIMON WATEL Editing SARAH ANDERSON SYLVIE LAGER Original Music LAURENT FERLET

REACTIONS

“As we watch the different paths these children take to go to school, their transformative journeys become ours and we are reminded that education is a treasure that our families and communities nurture within us sometimes at a great sacrifice because they do trust that the future can be a better place than the present. “ – Forest Whitaker

Dispensing with any heated rhetoric about the sorry state of education, director Pascal Plisson instead allows this quartet of beautifully photographed incredible journeys speak inspirational volumes. — Los Angeles Times

“The film quietly reveals these four small stories as epically heroic and timeless journeys” — Village Voice

“There’s no doubt that each one of these kids is remarkable, not only in their sheer physical tenacity, but in their sincere hope that an education will lead to a better life.” –Hollywood Reporter

AWARDS AND FESTIVALS

– Cesar Award 2014 for Best Documentary

– Colcoa 2014

– Grand Prix and Best Documentary awards – 2014 International Gold Panda Documentary Festival