At 86 years old, Jean Vanier’s life has been characterized by profound empathy, understanding and humanity. His work as an academic and an author has touched many over the years, but he is best known for the foundation of the L’Arche communities that have helped to change the lives of the developmentally disadvantaged around the world.
Now, fifty years after the establishment of the first L’Arche community in the village of Trosly, France, his vision and dedication to his work, and the people that it has influenced, are recognized and celebrated in the documentary Love and Belonging: Jean Vanier at L’Arche.
The film examines the events that led Vanier, in 1964, to invite two mentally disabled men to live with him in his small home, and the ways in which that act inspired a movement. Since then, 146 such communities, where caregivers live with and learn from the developmentally disabled, have formed around the world, helping to change perceptions of individuals who, for too long, had found themselves on the margins of society.
You can be among the first to watch and listen to the story of this groundbreaking Canadian humanitarian at Love and Belonging’s premiere screening this weekend, on Sunday, Nov. 9 at 7pm at the National Gallery of Canada (380 Sussex Drive, Ottawa). The free-admission viewing is presented by Norflicks Productions, VisionTV/ZoomerMedia, and L’Arche Foundation Canada, and will also feature a special screening of the short film Pareil pas pareil (Alike But Not Alike).
VisionTV viewers across Canada will be able to watch the broadcast premiere of Love and Belonging on Monday, Nov. 24 at 10pm ET/7pm PT. Until then, you can learn more about the L’Arche Foundation and its continued efforts to improve the lives of those with disabilities by visiting the Love and Belonging website.