Abandon the rat race and forge new friendships – Summer in the forest

To read on Summer in the forest website:



Like countless others Philippe, Michel, Andre and Patrick were labeled ‘idiots’, locked away and forgotten in violent asylums, until the 1960s, when the young philosopher Jean Vanier took a stand and secured their release – the first time in history that anyone had beaten the system. Together they created L’Arche, a commune at the edge of a beautiful forest near Paris. 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.

« The sheer humanity absolutely shines through.
Viewing should be compulsory. »

Daily Mail

“His Holiness Pope Francis wishes to affirm his warm support of all initiatives to foster and integrate at the heart of our societies the mentally disabled”

To mark the release of Summer in the Forest the Pope sent this personal message to the producers


CAST  (on the site, clic on each picture to see a brief presentation of the person)

David  Celine & Fred  Michel  Andre
 Sara  Patrick  Hilmi  Jean


“This film represents the best of L’Arche and Jean Vanier. The people sho

“This film represents the best of L’Arche and Jean Vanier. The people shown in this film, Jean, Michel, Patrick, Philippe, and Andre showcase the intricacies of humanity and the beauty of the human spirit. In particular, Jean’s story of how he accepted and included the people who society hid away and forgot reminds us all to live with open hearts and minds. It was a joy to watch and to get to know them.”

Tim Shriver



Randall Wright

DirectorRandall Wright has directed over 20 major documentaries, including the critically acclaimed Hockney and the feature length Lucian Freud: A Painted Life, which won an RTS award for best arts documentary, a Grierson nomination, and BAFTA Robert Flaherty nomination.

Patrick Duval

CinematographerPatrick studied Fine Art, then took film at the RCA. He has shot many Art documentaries, independent features, TV drama, comedy and commercials. He jointly won the Evening Standard Award and Valladolid Film Festival in Cinematography for Terence Davies’ Distant Voices/Still Lives and shot the Prix Italia-nominated I’ll Be Your Mirror.

Richard Wilson

ProducerRichard Wilson escaped the BBC 17 years ago and has since produced some 200 films, mostly documentaries, for TV and cinemas around the world. He has won multiple awards in a career that stretches from the South Pole to daytime TV.

Paul Binns

EditorPaul Binns is a BAFTA award- winning film editor who trained at the London International Film School. Paul’s work includes the films I’ll Be Your Mirror, about the photographer, Nan Goldin, and Tell Me The Truth About Love, about the poet W.H.Auden. In 2006 he won the BAFTA Editing Craft Award for the drama- documentary, The Year London Blew Up.


« Breathtakingly beautiful… the keynote is joy… It will make you laugh.
It will make you cry. And it will remind you of what it really means to be strong »

The Guardian






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