You probably know about the Montessori documentary in the works, Building the Pink Tower—maybe because you read about it on The Montessori Observer here or here, more recently on MontessoriPublic, or on Facebook, or on BPT’s own website, or via their new Indiegogo campaign.
But did you know about the other Montessori documentary in the works, in French, featuring French primary children, speaking adorable French?! I know this betrays an American parochialism, and an exoticizing obsession with cute kids speaking languages other than English, but I think you’ll agree that this is la Montessori la plus mignonne that you will see today:
But cuteness aside, like Building the Pink Tower, Le Maitre Est L’Enfant (The Child is the Teacher) is serious business. The director, Alexandre Mourot, is a a Montessori parent and documentary filmmaker who, like so many others, fell in love with Montessori in his child’s classroom. He started researching in 2014, filming in 2015, and during the summer of 2015 began an AMI 3-6 training course. Filming is now complete, and after self-funding the process up to now, Mourot has launched a crowd-funding effort for post-production and distribution. The campaign bas blown past its first two goals of 50,000 and 100,000 Euros, and is headed for its stretch goal of 160,000, which would allow translation into English and Spanish and foreign distribution.
And the Montessori? The classroom featured in the film, at L’Ecole Montessori de Roubaix, a Dominican school in Roubaix (a declining industrial suburb of Lille in the north of France), is led by veteran guide Christian Maréchal, who trained with the Dominican sisters in 1992 and took an AMI Primary diploma in 2000. In 2012, he entered the AMI Primary Training of Trainers program, to become a trainer of new AMI teachers. So it’s probably pretty solid
I spoke to Vina Kay and Jan Selby of BPT about the film. They hadn’t heard of it, but they said they didn’t feel threatened by another documentary, even one with adorable French children. “I don’t thin the problem is too much communication about Montessori”, Kay told me. “The more, the merrier.”