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Gates of Heaven (1978)

Cast: Cal Harberts, Zella Graham
Director: Errol Morris, Errol Morris
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: MGM
Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 83 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Synopsis
Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris' debut immediately attracted acclaim for its straight-faced treatment of a subject practically begging for ridicule. When the Foothill Memorial Gardens pet cemetery, located north of San Francisco, closed (its land was sold for a housing project), the 450 animals interred there had to be moved to Bubbling Well Memorial Park in nearby Napa. Morris saw the transfer as an opportunity to explore the world of pet owners who are so devoted that they see nothing wrong with giving their animals a full dose of the last rites. His simple technique was to film his subjects, usually seated, talking about their loved ones, alternating with shots of the two cemeteries and the move. Critic Roger Ebert became an early champion of the film, and Morris' struggles to finish it resulted in a very amusing short film, Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe. The German filmmaker had bet Morris that he would never complete the film, and when he did, Herzog publicly boiled and consumed one of his shoes for the camera of director Les Blank. ~ Tom Wiener, All Movie Guide



GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 7.24)
98 Votes
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something like documentary
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personal, experimental, and beautiful films that (i think) smartly challenge the conventions of documentary
charfair
GreenCine's Official 50 Best Documentaries List!
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Each of these inspiring documentaries will take you to a world you've never been or tell you a story you've never heard, and deserve a place in the archives. One prerequisite: the films had to be currently available on DVD.
GreenCineStaff

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