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Forever (2006)

n , a , Heddy Honigmann  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: n, a
  • Directors: Heddy Honigmann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Icarus Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 21, 2009
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001RVA1QO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,990 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Forever" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Acclaimed director Heddy Honigmann takes us on a visit of the renowned Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, the final resting place for legendary artists from around the world including Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Frederic Chopin, Marcel Proust and Maria Callas among others.

FOREVER introduces us to Parisians and tourists who make pilgrimages to these graves, whether to pay their respects, leave flowers or personal messages, or to tend to the upkeep of the tombstones. They share fascinating anecdotes about the deceased, and relate personal stories about the significance of the artists work in their lives. The cemetery is not only as a resting place for the dead but also a source of peace and inspiration for the living.


Mesmerizing... one of [Honigmann's] most accomplished and expressive works. --Deborah Young, Variety

A fascinating, beautiful meditation on art. --Kelly Jane Torrance, The Washington Times

Lively and engrossing! --William Johnson, Film Quarterly

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the next best thing to being there December 20, 2009
A lovely and moving portrait of the famous Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, final resting place of many great artists and other historical figures, who are buried alongside countless "unknown" people with equally fascinating life stories. It's a beautiful, quiet place, and the film takes its cue from this, leaving plenty of room for silence and reflection.

There is no attempt to give a history of the cemetery, nor to comprehensively show all of the graves of dead celebrities, or to even tell their life stories (it is assumed that we know who these people are). Instead, we are invited to wait patiently at a few graves to see who shows up to visit them, or to witness the occasional chance encounter. The interviews that result are never intrusive. Director Heddy Honigmann respects the people she meets, and knows when to stay quiet, letting them tell their stories in their own time: a young Japanese pianist who has devoted herself to playing Chopin in honor of her dead father; an artist making a graphic novel of Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past"; a mortician inspired in his own work by the portraits of Modigliani; a man who leads tours, with a special fondness for the graves of certain unknown or forgotten people; a dignified Iranian immigrant taxi driver who also sings Persian classical music; a woman who tends the graves of famous writers and recites their poems; and various other family members who come to visit their loved ones, all of whom have their own interesting stories. In a way, these people are as much "residents" of the cemetery as those who are buried there; it's a place for the living as much as it is for the dead, a place of remembrance, contemplation, and deep feeling.

However, there are a few scenes that seem out of place.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Love is as Strong as Death June 14, 2009
Those words come from the Song of Solomon in scripture. And I can think of no film that more completely captures the spirit of that line than this magnificent documentary. The setting, of course, is the famous cemetery in Paris known as Pere-Lachaise.

The filmmaker succeeds in showing the impact that the departed have on the hearts of the living...a young Japanese woman who was moved by her father's love of music to become a concert pianist; she pays homage to Chopin - a taxi cab driver who dreams of becoming a singer of Middle Eastern poetry regularly visits and tends to the tomb of Persian writer Sadegh Hedayat - a Spanish woman who is paying respects to her lost husband talks about the impact of the Spanish civil war on her family.

There is a scene in "Rebel Without A Cause" where the planetarium director lectures to the high school students that in the grand scheme of the universe, each human life is insignificant.This film shows us he is wrong! The lives of others can often touch, move, uplift, inspire persons far beyond their imaginings.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally. March 12, 2009
I saw this at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in 2006 and I can't remember ever being so moved by a documentary. It was a surprise, just one of the many films I saw that week, but its look at art, beauty and a devotion that reaches beyond death, is a profound work. Finally, it's available for more people to see.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Missed Opportunity October 29, 2011
How could a documentary about the beautiful Pere Lachaise cemetery ever go wrong? This filmmaker manages to make a botch of something that could have been quite stunning. She inexplicably spends most of the film on Marcel Proust and Frederic Chopin, and mostly ignores the other famous residents of this cemetery. There are some fine moments with everyday people as they tend the graves of their beloved family members--I wish the filmmaker had done more of this. I was really looking forward to this movie, but was extremely disappointed. Perhaps Ms.Honigmann should have entitled her film "Marcel Proust's Grave."
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1.0 out of 5 stars Slow...and slow. August 29, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Simply put, this is not a documentary about the cemetery, but rather a series of interviews with a number of regular visitors to it. While I suppose there are those who are in the mood for such a movie, I found the discussions to be invariably uninteresting and slow, which on top of my disappointment about the subject matter caused us to give up about a half hour into the movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars forever February 14, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
a bit boring, and the subject matter is for those that have an interest in the subject only. I had visited the graveyard in 2005 and it was interesting to me to see if I remembered any of the sites. I found that there were sites I had missed on my first visit and when I return to Paris, I will visit the graveyard again to see those spots.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A reflection on the fact that death is a part of life January 8, 2014
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I had once visited the cemetary Pere Lachaise in Paris once, so that initially sparked my interest in this film, but while I thought that it might be some sort of travelogue, it was so much more. There's no narration in this documentary; rather, the filmmaker asks questions of visitors to personal or public gravesites in Pere Lachaise. While seemingly selected at random, those visitors share with the filmmaker some incredible stories. There are those who are visiting the resting places of loved ones, and those who have come to pay respects to a public figure - Wilde, Chopin, Balzac, Proust. The insights of the visitors are striking in the way that they are very personal but also universal. To use the words of one of the participants in the film, I had some facts about Pere Lachaise, but what I hadn't experienced before was the emotion. The film very gently allows the emotion reveal itself through the cemetary's visitors. Clearly coming through is the idea that all of us have a relationship with death, and it can be filled with love.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Made me want to visit this Paris cemetary
Very interesting perspective on what to appreciate at Paris' famous cemetary.
Published 2 months ago by Denise Ables Belyavsky
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating cultural history in an historic and peaceful setting.
This documentary was poignant and engaging from beginning to end. I had seen it twice before purchasing for my library because I will view it again, many times. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Patricia L. Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquiste
Forever is one of my favorite films. The first time I saw it, I floated into a sort of meditative trance as I watched it, filled with a sense of calmness and peace that is not my... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Gayle
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously?
Summary: Seriously?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

French navel-gazing drivel at its worst. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Martha Rudman
2.0 out of 5 stars What was up with the pianist?
There seemed to be so much more focus on the pianist than on the cemetery. I loved the cemetery bits though.
Published 19 months ago by Wanderingalien
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better
I think the choice of Père Lachaise Cemetery as the subject of this documentary is interesting. However, the way the documentary was filmed needed improvement.
Published on September 15, 2012 by Timegoesby
5.0 out of 5 stars Best documentary I've seen in many years
Ful of poetry and feelings. Simone Signoret is so great that even blind people get together to appreciate one of her films. Read more
Published on June 5, 2012 by Mario Zejan
5.0 out of 5 stars Forever-Never Again
First, the movie was great. See if Netflicks or Itunes has it...

because Unbox and Amazon Video On Demand is an endless source of problems. Read more
Published on September 9, 2010 by Douglas
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful documentary about Pere Lachaise Cemetery
A Dutch filmmaker interviews people who visit or maintain graves at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, where many famous and not-so-famous people of the last two centuries are... Read more
Published on July 14, 2010 by Franco Phile
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