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Summer in the Forest

An intimate documentary about L'Arche, an international organization for the disabled, and its founder Jean Vanier. "Extraordinarily tender documentary that asks what it means to be human. Here, even the most gentle scenes raise mighty questions." - New York Times

Presented by The Working Centre

“For more than half a century, a former sailor in the British Navy has made a home for people whose intellectual disabilities might otherwise doom them to life in gloomy or even violent hospitals — first in a tranquil town north of Paris, then in more than a hundred such communities in dozens of countries. Tagging along with the now octogenarian Jean Vanier and meeting some members of his surrogate family, Randall Wright's Summer in the Forest champions his vision by quietly watching it in harmonious action.

“The film is more explicit in its handling of central characters Philippe, Michel, Andre and Patrick. Jean introduces them briefly, assessing each one's personality tenderly. More important is the time we spend with each man, seeing both the way community members support him, and, equally important, the freedom he is given to go off and be himself.

“The movie's Edenic vision prioritizes long footage of group meals and daily routines over talk of funding or governmental policy, which will suit viewers wanting to vicariously experience a community where acceptance is the overriding principle.” - The Hollywood Reporter

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