Gates of Heaven
“Errol Morris’[s] documentary about dog cemeteries is not about dog cemeteries, nor is it a documentary so much as a document about mainstream America at the crossroads of the late ’70s. It is the most original film I have seen in years, and also the most insidious, accomplishing something I would have thought impossible: it takes mediocre and vacuous middle-class Americans and makes them look mediocre and vacuous. I do not mean this in a facile sense. The film rejects the more obvious and tasteful alternative of falsely humanizing its characters, and in so doing gains in aesthetic force what it surrenders in phony warmth. Gates of Heaven is appallingly funny, and appalling” (Michael Covino, East Bay Express).
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