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On the Way to School (2015)On the Way to School (2015)

This 80-minute film was originally released in 2013 in France and Italy, where it broke box office records for a documentary film.  Without any narration at all, the film follows four children as they go to school.  In Kenya, Jackson (11) and his sister leave at 5:30 am and must watch out for wild elephants.  He's especially intent because it's his day to raise the flag at school.  Zahira (12) and her two girl friends walk four hours once a week to their boarding school in the snow-capped mountains of Morocco.  Carlos (11) of Patagonian Argentina rides his horse 90 minutes every day.  On the Bay of Bengal in India, Samuel (13) is confined to a rusty wheel chair that's tricked out with a white plastic chair, but no problem: his two brothers push him to school on an hour-plus trip every morning.  But don't pity these kids.  You'll envy their resilience, resourcefulness,  independence, and self-sufficiency.  The remarkable scenery and ethnography are an added bonus.  I watched this film on Netflix Streaming.  It would make for a fantastic family film night.

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