Imagine sitting down for a meal with someone different to you.
Something stopped you coming here before. The expectation of awkward silence, perhaps. The suspicion that your worst fears about the other person might be confirmed. Your discomfort with the unknown.
But as you begin to look at each other, to eat together, something shifts. You talk about everyday things, and begin to enjoy each other’s company. A joke catches you off-guard, and you start to laugh. You forget yourself.
Life-affirming new documentary Summer in the Forest is in cinemas and online June 23. This poetic film follows the life of the L’Arche community in Trosly, France, where people with learning disabilities and those who support them have found what it truly means to be human.
This companion booklet introduces the stars of the film, and the transforming wisdom of Jean Vanier, who founded the L’Arche movement.
We couldn’t be more pleased and proud to be supporting the release of Summer in the Forest, a beautiful and life-affirming documentary which will be released in cinemas and on V-O-D 23rd June.
The film (directed by Randall Wright) follows Philippe, Michel, Andre and Patrick, who were 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 Trosly-Breuil, a community at the edge of a beautiful forest near Paris. A quiet revolution was born.
L’Arche (which now has 151 Communities in 37 countries) has a vision for a world where people with learning disabilities and their carers can discover a fuller life together. As part of the process of creating a companion booklet to go alongside Summer in the Forest, I paid a visit to the L’Arche Community closest to where Damaris Media is based: L’Arche Bognor Regis, on the South coast a short distance from the sea.