On the Way to School

From The Distrib Films Collection

Directed by Pascal Plisson

77 minutes / Color
English; French / English subtitles
Release: 2017
Copyright: 2013

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 and 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 and 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.

"This quartet of beautifully photographed incredible journeys speak inspirational volumes."Los Angeles Times

"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

"Direct, expressive, and compassionate filmmaking that can be appreciated by anyone."Chicago Reader

"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

Other Ways to Watch


Home use DVD for $26.98

Available online from:

Colleges, Universities, Government Agencies, Hospitals, and Corporations

Purchase DVD for $245.00

Available for educational streaming from:


Karin Viard and Emmanuelle Devos star together for the first time as two women who want more out of life-at work and at home

Anne Le Ny | 2017 | 91 minutes | Color | English; French | English subtitles

A semi-autobiographical romantic comedy of childhood and first love, set in the tumultuous world of 1970s Italy.

Pierfrancesco Diliberto | 2017 | 90 minutes | Color | English; Italian | English subtitles

An old man lets a student live in his apartment for free in exchange for ruining his son's marriage.

Ivan Calbérac | 2022 | 99 minutes | Color | French | English subtitles