Well-intentioned but cloying, this documentary spotlights the life and work of author and philosopher Jean Vanier, who founded a community outside Paris in the 1960s for individuals with developmental disabilities. Director Randall Wright interviews Vanier (who’s in his late 80s but still managing the community) and profiles various residents, shown working, socializing, and reflecting on the mission of inclusive, meaningful lives for all. Vanier is an admirable figure, and his methods still seem ahead of their time. Unfortunately Wright’s hard-sell approach distracts from the inspirational content; his portraits of the residents tend toward sentimentality, and a syrupy score tells you how to feel. In English and subtitled French and Arabic.
Summer in the Forest
1 hour 48 min • 2017