Errol Morris, Gates of Heaven, 1978 (still); image: Fourth Floor Productions


Gates of Heaven

Friday, Feb 17, 2017

8 p.m.

“Errol Morris burst out of the gate with this brilliant debut feature, about two pet cemeteries in Northern California and the people involved with them. Such a description, however, can hardly do justice to the captivating, funny, and enigmatic Gates of Heaven, a film that is about our relationships to our pets, each other, and ourselves. Both sincere and satirical, this is an endlessly surprising study of human nature.” — Criterion.com

Gates of Heaven is arguably the masterpiece of Americanarama, made nearly a decade before the trend coalesced. Certainly, for bottom-line defamiliarizing weirdness, no film has ever surpassed this documentary account of two California pet cemeteries.” — J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

“Morris’s use of talking-head interviews initially appears cool and conventional, but there’s a lot more to it in terms of form and attitude than initially meets the eye, and the apparent cruelty of the deadpan satire gradually gives way to something more compassionate, as well as deeper and stranger.” — Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader

Film Details

Country: USA
Language: English
Year: 1978
Running time: 83 min
Format: Digital presentation
Director: Errol Morris
Cinematographer: Ned Burgess
Editor: Errol Morris
Print Source: IFC Films

Films and schedules may be subject to change.

Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by Nion T. McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund. Additional support is provided by Becky Draper.