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It All Starts Today ( Ça commence aujourd'hui ) [1999] [ English subtitles ] [DVD]

Philippe Torreton , Maria Pitarresi , Bertrand Tavernier    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £23.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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It All Starts Today ( Ça commence aujourd'hui ) [1999] [ English subtitles ] [DVD] + L.627 [DVD] + Laissez-Passer [DVD] [2002]
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Product details

  • Actors: Philippe Torreton, Maria Pitarresi, Nadia Kaci, Véronique Ataly, Nathalie Bécue
  • Directors: Bertrand Tavernier
  • Writers: Bertrand Tavernier, Dominique Sampiero, Tiffany Tavernier
  • Producers: Alain Sarde, Frédéric Bourboulon
  • Format: PAL, Import
  • Language: French, Spanish, Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Feb 2003
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G8NYGI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,975 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

France released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: French ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), Italian ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), Spanish ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), Dutch ( Subtitles ), English ( Subtitles ), French ( Subtitles ), German ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (2.35:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Filmographies, Interactive Menu, Making Of, Photo Gallery, SYNOPSIS: Daniel is schoolmaster of a kindergarten in a small French town. The local economy, which depended entirely on coal production, has been mired in a depression ever since the mines were closed. When their parents fall into utter discouragement or even poverty because of prolonged unemployment, the children suffer the consequences. Daniel is confronted daily with difficult situations and he feels responsible to deal with them although they are outside the scope of his responsibilities. This is a frustrating task: politicians are concerned with tightening their budgets, bureaucrats in the intricate web of French social and educational services with their prerogatives, utility companies with getting their bills paid; teachers, social workers, and policemen are overwhelmed. Daniel's relations with his parents, but also with Valeria, his fiancée, and her son are not entirely smooth either. He nevertheless soldiers on with the staff of the kindergarten, all doing their best to educate the children of a severely disrupted society. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Berlin International Film Festival, Ceasar Awards, Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain, European Film Awards, Goya Awards, San Sebastian International Film Festival, ...It All Starts Today ( Ça commence aujourd'hui )

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope 1 Feb 2005
Format:VHS Tape
If you have ever looked around and felt despair at the effect of abject poverty on young children this film will make you feel 'something' can be done.
It addresses the redeeming quality of (some) eductation, the acute need for caring educators, and the resillience not to 'give in'.
The film follows a French primary teacher as he battles with the authorities and his charges' families to make their few hours in school a respite and a warm enviroment.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching 15 Sep 2012
Format:DVD
Although this film is set in a poor, run down bleak area of France the film is relatively easy to watch. It has English subtitles which means you do need to concentrate, this is a good thing as it encourages you to get the most from the story. The headteacher at the school has a genuine empathy and compassion for the children he teaches and their low income or unemployed parents who live in real hardship. He seems to be in almost all the scenes and is a great watchable and likeable character. He has some emotional scars from his past and in the present which the film covers really well. There are some great scenes with the young children and the quality of the acting from all ages is very high together with a quality storyline and filming. A memorable film and well worth watching.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Viewing! 21 Jan 2003
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Now and then brave directors and producers gather their courage and create a film that carries a profound message and seem to be concerned not about the glitz and glamour of their product, but about the impact it has on its audience. The French film IT ALL STARTS TODAY is such a movie.
Briefly stated, the story deals with a committed kindergarten school teacher/director whose pupils are for the most part from homes of poverty, where obtaining an education is unwillingly pushed into the 'luxury' status of adults who are jobless, emotionally damaged, and otherwise unable to nurture the children they have brought into the world. The school is a haven where excellent, warm teachers and staff provide not only inspiration to the mind but at time the only food the children can access. The director struggles with the mayor, the social workers, the System - all frustrating to the point of denying even the most basic essentials needed. When despite all of the loving attention showered on these children, one particularly needy child/family succombs to the social distress of need and the ensuing family suicide sparks the director and his staff to fully commit to the ideals they have been tempted to abandon. The result is an ingenious one that involves students, teachers, parents and neighborhood in a celebration to conquer the grief that threatened to destroy the school's mission. With a cast as sensitive as any ever assembled (including some of the most endearing small children ever photographed!), this movie strikes a blow at governmental insensitivity to the plight of the poor while genuinely and without maudlin overtones demonstrating the difference committed educators make. There are enough side stories of love interest and incidents to prevent this potentially heavy-handed topic from becoming burdensome: preachy it is not. The message comes from the heart and because of the tender understatement of the director's technique, IT ALL STARTS TODAY becomes part of your heart and your belief in the potential goodness of mankind. The film is in French with easily readable English subtitles and the DVD gives biographies on the main people involved in the creation of the project that help flesh out the reasons for making the movie.
I cannot urge you strongly enough to PLEASE see this film.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tribute to the courage and commitment of teachers 20 Mar 2005
By Howard Schumann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Daniel Lefebvre (Philippe Torreton) is teacher and director of the école maternelle, a pre-school open to children ages 2 to 6 in northern France. In Bernard Tavernier's deeply moving film, It All Starts Today, the children are the stars. Their faces and loving smiles shine through the grimness of their circumstances. Based on the notebooks of Tavernier's son-in-law Dominique Sampiero, a provincial teacher, the film is about the difficulties and challenges of children but is also a tribute to the courage and commitment of teachers. Lefebvre is a poet whose voice-over narration adds a touching lyricism to the film. "We'll tell our children it was hard", he writes. "Piles of stones placed one by one. We'll tell the children it was hard but their fathers are lords and this is their legacy. A pile of stones and the courage to lift them".

The school is in a town that has been hit hard by the closure of the coalmine, and where unemployment has reached 34 percent. Lefebvre is a gentle and compassionate teacher but a tough administrator who tries to shake the political bureaucracy into providing adequate programs for the school. He protests loudly against budget cuts and insensitive government regulations and the shortage of trained professionals. Lefebvre shows anger and frustration in the scene where he slams the door in the face of a visiting social worker, and when he storms into the Mayor's office to rail against cutbacks in the school lunch program. He is hardest on himself, however, when tragedy befalls an alcoholic mother and her family, and when his common-law wife Valeria's (Maria Pitteresi) young son Remi (Lambert Marchal) gets into trouble, challenging his commitment to return to the school the following year.

The problems of the school are severe but not exaggerated. Being the husband of a pre-school teacher I know the kinds of circumstances that parents and teachers face every day and they are not that different from those shown in the film. Tavernier does not idealize the poor or romanticize their circumstances but shows us conditions as they exist. This is a message film and we do get the message, but it doesn't seem preachy because it comes from a passion that springs naturally from the lives of the characters. But the magic of the film lies in the children themselves. There is no acting or interpretation. The camera zooms around the school with lightning speed catching the spontaneity of the children singing, dancing, talking, playing, and just being themselves. It All Starts Today does not offer any simple solutions and can be dark, but, at the end, when each child comes up to the camera for a final smile I felt only lightness and joy. Being around children and adults with courage will do that.
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful movie 4 Dec 2011
By zabou - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
It's an amazing slice of life story, an intensely human drama populated by complex heroes in a small village of France at the end of the Twentieth century. A superb performance from Torreton in a kindergarten teacher.
5.0 out of 5 stars review of It All Starts Today 26 May 2010
By Paul Kao - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I buy movies for the local Alliance Francaise, and this is one of them. It's the charming tale of a grade school principal who also teaches kindergarten in a very poor mining town in the north of France. Besides the fights with the school board for more money, he also has to handle child abuse and also very poor families who cannot afford heat and food during the winter for their children.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give your heart to the children 15 Jun 2008
By Joseph M. Seda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A grim look at what a bureaucratic schooling and social welfare system could not properly accomplish in a this seemingly hopeless situation. Poverty was grinding the community, especially the children into hunger, neglect, despair, and violence. A few dedicated, sensitive teachers did give some hope and quality to the children's lives. This movie gives hope that others can be helped.
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