Under the hot morning sun, the children of western Thailand are getting ready to start the school day. A young girl clutches her book and hurries to find a desk and chair in the crowded classroom. A group of 10-year-olds plays tag on the unpaved schoolyard, running and laughing. A teacher calls the pupils in, and they pile through the doors and take their seats, settling down as their bright faces look up in anticipation.
It could be the beginning of the school day anywhere, but this is no ordinary class and these are no ordinary pupils. The Good Morning School, in the town of Mae Sot, Thailand, sits on the Burmese-Thai border, where tens of thousands of Burmese children live. Some are with their families, others orphans, displaced by half of a century of violence in their home country. Without official Thai statehood, these children have no access to the Thai government school system.
In 1986, a Burmese teacher and fellow refugee named Paw Ray was determined to prevent so many young minds from going to waste. She started the first of what would become a network of 50 schools in the region, opening the doors to any child who wished to attend.
Directed and produced by former Dubai advertising executive Stuart Cameron and narrated by three-time Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver, All You Need is Love is the story of the Good Morning School, but even more so it is the story of the remarkable spirit of the children growing up and attending school in impoverished conditions. Living without TV, phones or even electricity, they’re like the children of a bygone era, without the influence of global media to define their value and worth. The film is a jubilant and compelling look at life stripped of material possessions and the innate ability of children, through their imagination and creativity, to remind us of what is truly important.