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What Dreams May Come

Vincent Ward
USA 1998 / 140’

A painter, Anna, and a paediatrician, Chris, have been happily married for many years. But when two of their children are killed in a car crash, Anna breaks down. And when Chris dies in the similar way four years later, Anna commits suicide. She goes to hell. And Chris is in heaven, always missing his beloved Anna (...)

Ward, who is an educated painter, was fascinated with the possibilities offered by this screenplay, to create images never seen before in the cinema using modern techniques. In this film, heaven and hell are a projection of the characters' visions, visible even in Anna's pictures. Ward sought inspiration in the works of his favourite painters: Monet, van Gogh and especially the German romantic artists such as Caspar David Friedrich.

RW, Film


Visual imagination is key to experiencing the world created by Vincent Ward. What is mainly important here is the impressive image, the aesthetic vision that reflects the play of emotions. In What Dreams May Come emotions are easily the most important because the film is set not among material entities but in the sphere of emotions. (…)

The film was composed with many motives - visual, literary, religious and film (the part of God's voice is played by Werner Herzog), creating a kind of suite in which everyone should find some consolation.

Kamil Rudziński, Kino

Vincent Ward was born in 1956 in Greytown. His mother was a Hamburg-born Jew who fled Nazi Germany to Palestine, his father was from New Zealand. He started in theatre and then move into fine arts, film drama, and then documentaries. He attended the Ilam School of Art in Christchurch, then went to Fine Arts School in Cantenbury, where in early 1978 he was given leave. He left for Te Urewera where he want to realize In Spring One Plants Alone, which was finished in 1980. In 1978 he made A State of Siege based on Janet Frame's novel and six years later he directed Vigil, which was the first film form New Zealand screened at Cannes festival. 1988 saw him directing The Navigator: A Medieval Oddysey, also shown in Cannes. In 1992 he directed Map of the Human Heart which had a $34 million budget compared with $2 million for The Navigator. He worked on the script for Alien 3, at the time of writing he was filming What Dreams May Come. In 2003 Ward produced The Last Samurai by Edward Zwick. Two years later he directed River Queen and this year - documentary Rain of the Children.


1978 A State of Siege (śr.m. / mid.)

1980 In Spring One Plants Alone (śr.m. / mid.)

1984 Dojrzewanie / Vigil

1988 Nawigator: odyseja średniowieczna / The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey

1992 Mapa ludzkiego serca / Map of the Human Heart

1998 Między piekłem a niebem / What Dreams May Come

2005 River Queen

2008 Rain of the Children