A documentary about a pet cemetery in California, and the people who have pets buried there.A documentary about a pet cemetery in California, and the people who have pets buried there.A documentary about a pet cemetery in California, and the people who have pets buried there.
Philosophy.......and Stuff Like That There.
A totally over-rated documentary feature about a pet cemetery in California. The film focuses on the people who run the cemetery, those owners who have lost pets and always tries to win its audience over with philosophical questioning of God, nature, existence and what happens to beings when they give up the ghost forever. In the end the film is not near as smart as it would like to be. "Gates of Heaven" is an odd viewing experience. The people interviewed are quirky and some border on psychotic and disturbed. I found some of the people in the film "drunk on themselves". In other words they thought they were much more intelligent than they really were. The film does not work as a philosophy lesson (check out any work from Terrence Malick instead for that) and it does not work as a comedy (sometimes it is unclear if the people are serious or just playing games with the film-makers). In the end the production is interesting, but far from anything remarkable. As a documentary it works all right, but as a film it has shortcomings several miles long. Always praised by Chicago critic Roger Ebert, "Gates of Heaven" is more smoke and mirrors than actual substance. 4 stars out of 5.
- Apr 11, 2003
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