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Map of the Human Heart

Vincent Ward
USA 1992 / 126’

Map of the Human Heart tells a soaring story of human adventure - adventure of the best kind, based not on violence, but on an amazing personal journey. It is incredible sometimes what distances can be traveled in a single human life, and this is a movie about a man who could not have imagined his end in his beginning.

The story begins in the 1930s in the Arctic, where a young Eskimo boy is fascinated by the map-making activities of a visiting British cartographer named Russell. The boy is named Avik. The mapmaker arrives at the Eskimo settlement by airplane, an astonishing sight, and when he leaves he takes the boy with him - because Avik has tuberculosis, and can be treated in Montreal. The city itself is an unbelievable sight for Avik, who did not imagine such places existed. And in the hospital, he makes a lifelong friend - Albertine. She is half Indian, half white. Avik is half Eskimo, half white. And the movie shows them standing halfway between their two worlds.

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times


This movie announces itself with symphonic authority. If Ward is a dreamer, he is not the spindly, alienated modern sort. Ward is out there poking around in the mythic stew, hooked into the ancestral line of shaman-storytellers, who repeated their dreams around campfires.

Hal Hinson, Washington Post

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

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