Summer in the Forest

An extraordinarily tender documentary that asks what it means to be human. Here, even the most gentle scenes raise mighty questions.


Summer in the Forest

Summer in the Forest is a documentary that explores the life and work of author and philosopher Jean Vanier. It traces Vanier’s activism and faith from wartime to present day and reveals the universal need for love, community & companionship.

Like countless others, Philippe, Michel, Andre & Patrick were labeled “idiots,” locked away and forgotten in violent asylums until the 1960’s. The young philosopher Jean Vanier took a stand & secured their release – the first time in history that anyone had beaten the system. Together they created L’Arche, a community for people with disabilities– a commune at the edge of a beautiful forest near Paris, the first of the more than 150 such communities that Vanier founded. And with that, a quiet revolution was born.

Now in his 80s, and still at L'Arche, Jean has discovered something that most of us have forgotten - what it is to be human, to be foolish, and to be happy.

Summer in the Forest invites us to abandon the rat race and forge new friendships. Amid the ancient trees, Philippe, Patrick, Jean and the others welcome us into their lives. If there are rules to break, they will be broken and if there is a truth to be told, they will tell it. Michel reveals his war torn past, Andre is desperate for a date, and young David will prove himself a hero in the fight against the forces of evil.
Not Rated
Randall Wright
Daphne Howland, Village Voice

Until the 1960s, when many countries rethought the system of institutionalization, many of the so-called homes that housed people with disabilities served to hide their patients from mainstream society. At worst, they were abused and, often, at best, just ignored. In France in that decade, Canadian ...

There are currently no showtimes for this film. Please check back soon.