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.
A fascinating, beautiful meditation on art. --Kelly Jane Torrance, The Washington Times
Lively and engrossing! --William Johnson, Film Quarterly
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Totally boring film! I don't know what I expected but this definitely wasn't it.Published 5 months ago by Late Night Reader
Very interesting perspective on what to appreciate at Paris' famous cemetary.Published 23 months ago by Denise Ables Belyavsky
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... Read morePublished on January 8, 2014 by Sharon A.
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 morePublished on January 8, 2014 by Patricia L. Campbell
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
French navel-gazing drivel at its worst. Read more
There seemed to be so much more focus on the pianist than on the cemetery. I loved the cemetery bits though.Published on March 12, 2013 by Wanderingalien
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