Map of the Human Heart

Map of the Human Heart


Vincent Ward's short film In Spring One Plants Alone was a document of time spent living with a remote Maori family, and this - his third feature - was inspired by his time living with Inuit people in Canada. It's set before and during World War II and centers on the life of an Inuit boy, Avik (played as a child by Robert Joamie, and as an adult by Jason Scott Lee). Avik joins the Royal Canadian Air Force and eventually, as a crewmember of a Lancaster bomber, participates in the notorious firebombing of Dresden. Throughout his life, Avik is haunted by love for a half-Métis girl, Albertine (Anne Parillaud).... More

The film's re-creation of the firebombing of Dresden is one of the most graphic and powerful sequences in the film. On the day Ward finished shooting these scenes, he received word that his father, who had actually participated in the historical firebombing of Dresden, had died. Ward dedicate the film to him. The Map of the Human Heart was partially funded by Ward himself, and his earnings from story writing Alien 3.

Washington Post said about the film: "A film of incantatory intensity and moment by a prodigiously gifted young filmmaker."Hide

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The Press Reviews

  • "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... This sort of romantic triangle could easily have collapsed into soapy melodrama, but Vincent Ward is too intelligent to go for the obvious treatment of this story. He doesn't allow his characters cheap sentiment, and indeed as Avik and Albertine renew their love from so long ago, we see two of the most astonishing romantic scenes I've ever seen in a movie - one on top of a barrage balloon, the other inside the hollow ceiling of the Royal Albert Hall... The best movies seem to reinvent themselves as they move along, not drawing from worn-out sources, and Map of the Human Heart is one of the year's best films. Full Review

  • Even by Mr. Ward's own high standards in the area of idiosyncrasy, this is a daringly peculiar tale. Full Review

  • New Zealand-born filmmaker Vincent Ward is a true romantic. In everything he attempts he leads with his heart, which expresses itself lavishly (though somewhat mournfully) in passionate extravagance. This perplexed but vital organ is the engine of his visions, which with each new film grow larger, stronger, more personal and more boldly poetic. Full Review

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