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At a school in Paris, Kindergarten children form a circle around a candle with their teacher, Pascaline, to study philosophy. Taking part in a learning experiment, they discuss universally relevant topics such as love, difference, intelligence, liberty, authority and growing up. During these special sessions there is no judgement; just very young children learning to build a discourse and to think for themselves.

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The workshop gradually blossoms into a truly privileged occasion where the children come to share their thoughts, reflect on their ideas and learn how to listen. There are no good or bad pupils in these workshops, only children expressing themselves in their own words and full of spontaneity. Under the guidance of their teacher they discuss ideas and values and begin to construct a paradigm of the world around them that is filled with meaning.

Only from France would come such a far-fetched idea as getting five-year-old children to participate in philosophy discussions at school, but it is a definite success.  Just A Beginning is a delightful testimony on an innovative experiment featuring young philosophy students of the Jacques Prevert de Le Meesur-Seine school. And the film’s directors, Jean-Pierre Pozzi and Pierre Barougier, have captured their spirit of youthful spontaneity, expression and contradiction so artfully that the film has been selected for festivals spanning Italy, Germany and Canada to Israel and Australia.

Watch ‘Just a Beginning’ here.

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