documentary, world | NR | 2hr 24min
Opening at GFC: 05/24/2017
Veteran director Claire Simon reaches a career high with this engaging, constantly surprising documentary on people in the Bois de Vincennes, a sprawling park on Paris’s southeast edge. Ranging from amateur painters to prostitutes, from ornithologists to exercise nuts, from gay men cruising for sex to mothers strolling with their babies, the characters we encounter share more than a geographic location; all seem to find solace and meaning in the sometimes eccentric activities that bring them to the woods. While she does not shy away from the difficulties of some of her subjects’ circumstances, Simon’s boundless curiosity and generous presence (she is often heard, but never seen) turn the film into a joyous rallying call for those seeking independence in outdoor pursuits and the margins of society. These political implications rise to the surface in a moving visit to the scant remnants of the experimental university of Vincennes, where the great philosopher Gilles Deleuze once lectured on the “lines of escape” that free individuals from the calcification of society. THE WOODS DREAMS ARE MADE OF is a stirring continuation of his legacy.
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