The School of Life

No institution shapes our lives more than school. We love it, we hate it, it bores us, inspires us, it is here that we find friends and enemies for life. The schooling experience is shared by all of us, regardless of what separates us. The good and the bad, the exhilaration and the frustration. The years we spent at school have a profound impact on our lives as a whole. A good teacher can give a young life an entirely new direction, a bad one can plant the roots of deep insecurity. And the class community can mean both allies and antagonists. By comparing Germany and France, this two-part documentary casts a glance back at the history of schooling from the end of World War II until the turn of the 21st century, meeting with prominent personalities and visiting their “schools of life” with them. To what extent is our self-image shaped by school? Can a teacher’s praise in a certain subject be decisive for our ultimate choice of career? Can the conflicts experienced during adolescence help us to find our way life later on? Has the antiauthoritarian system given us greater freedom, or instead made us insecure? Does the stricter schooling found in France encourage greater ambition and sense of purpose? An entertaining and emotionally stirring journey through the world of memories, and at the same time, a mirror of social and political change.

Buch / Regie

Petra Dorrmann, Julia Zinke


2021, NDR/arte, eine Lona•media Produktion

2x 45 Minuten