Short Films for Class Discussion

L’Arche offers some short films (10 min) that can be used as front material to open up a discussion about diversity and inclusion and belonging. They show how people with intellectual disabilities can contribute to the lives of others. These films are suited to intermediate and senior high school guidance, equity and diversity education, family studies, and religion courses. One of these films (“In God’s Hands”) has religious content. The others follow the L’Arche Educational Initiatives policy of not including religious content.

Read more.

1. “Building a Compassionate Canadian Society”
This 10 minute DVD introduces viewers to L’Arche by telling the story of Rose Decker, a woman with profound physical and intellectual disabilities who became a teacher to the young college-aged assistants who live with her.

"Building a Compassionate Canadian Society” (2003), 10 min. DVD: $8.00 plus taxes and shipping.

2. “Prophets of Peace,” a Masterworks DVD-ROM, contains 2 short award-winning videos (10 min. each) presenting the lives of two men who have intellectual disabilities. Both live in a L’Arche community. The comments and modeling of their young assistant friends and the portrait of their interesting lives help students see individuals with disabilities differently. The DVD includes comments by filmmaker Deiren Masterson (5 min.).

(a) “Where’s Your Home” (10 min.) tells the story of John Smeltzer, a charismatic man with Down Syndrome who works on a farm, plays the spoons with a local band, and brings his gift of friendship to people in his town.

(b) “In God’s Hands” presents Michael Barrett, a man who has severe Cerebral Palsy. He cannot walk or speak in the usual way, but his sensitive spirit and love of life and action touches and changes the lives of the young assistants who spend time with him. (This film is suited to student retreats.)

“Prophet’s of Peace” DVD-ROM: $26.95 plus taxes and shipping. (Includes “Questions for Reflection”)

How To Order
Educational materials may be ordered through

L'Arche Canada makes its educational resources available free or at cost. Most items are suitable for all Canadian schools. Where items are for Catholic or faith-based schools, this is indicated. L'Arche encourages a broad and inclusive social vision.
The Experience of Individuals
Ingrid Blais, director of L'Arche Homefires
Leslie Greencorn, Halifax (Nova Scotia)
Kristian Chilla, Germany
What is L'Arche ?
A Journey of Personal Growth
A Life Together that's Unique
What Makes a Community ?
Questions & Answers
Who can be an assistant?
How do I know if I'll like it?
L'Arche Canada - 2017