A new documentary out next month explores the history of the L’Arche movement. Summer in the Forest, follows Philippe, Michel, Andre and Patrick, who were once locked away and forgotten in violent asylums, until the 1960s, when the young philosopher Jean Vanier took a stand and secured their release. Together they created L'Arche, a community at the edge of a beautiful forest near Paris, built on a belief in God's love for the vulnerable. A quiet revolution was born, and a movement began to spread.
There are L'Arche communities now in 143 countries. This film visits the first one in France, and one of the most recently founded ones in Bethlehem.
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury said: “I am delighted to see the story of Jean Vanier's inspired work being shared in film. The work of Jean Vanier has reshaped attitudes to those with learning difficulties, and that reshaping has overflowed into a deeper appreciation of what we share in being human, and how those who imagine themselves to be strong are taught by those whom many consider to be weak.”
Director Randall Wright’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed and award winning film Hockney showcases compelling story-telling at its best. Under his deft and generous touch human self-importance crumbles to reveal our better instincts. Assumptions are shattered as we are welcomed to a place where the usual hierarchies don’t apply.
Summer in the Forest is arriving in UK cinemas on 23rd June. Damaris Media, Mencap and L'Arche UK are partnering with the filmmakers to bring this unique release to a wider audience, providing a special companion booklet alongside the film.
For more information and to see a trailer, visit: www.summerintheforest.com