On the Way to School

French Title: Sur le chemin de l’école
Genre: Documentary
Director: Pascal Plisson
Length: 77 min
Country: France
Release: Sept. 2013 – US Premiere
Awards: Césars 2014 – Best Documentary

The children depicted in this film have understood that only education will allow them to improve their lives, so they set out on hugely risky journeys through extraordinary landscapes on their quest for knowledge.

11-year-old Jackson lives in Kenya and, every morning and evening, is accompanied by his sister on a nine-and-a-half-mile walk across a savannah populated by wild animals.

12-year-old Zahira lives in the steep Atlas Mountains. It takes her and two friends an exhausting day of walking to reach their boarding school.

13-year-old Samuel lives in India. The two-and-a-half miles he must traverse each day are a challenge, for his legs are paralyzed. His two younger brothers push a makeshift wheelchair for more than an hour in order to reach school.

11-year-old Carlito crosses the Patagonian plains on horseback while accompanied by his younger sister. Each day, the pair travel 11 miles back and forth, no matter the weather.

On the Way to School allows us to share with them a path that we have all taken – but never quite in this way.