Map of the Human Heart
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A white, Inuit boy named Avik is the focus of New Zealand director Vincent Ward's meditation on race and romance. In the opening moments of the movie, set in 1931 in the Arctic-Canadian settlement Nunataaq, Avik (portrayed initially by Robert Joamie) lives under the watchful eye of his grandmother (Jayko Pitseolak). While tagging along after British cartographer Walter Russell (Patrick Bergin), Avik falls prey to the "white man's disease,"--tuberculosis; to assuage his own guilt, Russell takes the boy to a Montreal clinic to recover. There, Avik meets Albertine, a mixed-blood… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Even by Mr. Ward's own high standards in the area of idiosyncrasy, this is a daringly peculiar tale."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"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."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Succeeds admirably in showing us just how much love the heart can hold in the face of so many obstacles and so much pain."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"The love story (which features Jason Scott Lee and Anne Parillaud) that means to add pathos to this cultural collision doesn't generate enough heat. But the theme tantalizes, and many of the images soar."
‑ Stephen Farber, Movieline
"A film of incantatory intensity and moment by a prodigiously gifted young filmmaker."
‑ Hal Hinson, Washington Post
"As directed and co-written by Vincent Ward, this romantic drama tries to say something poignant about a doomed interracial love and the fateful nature of human encounters, but everything about it is excessive."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"An interesting, overlooked film"
‑ Jon Niccum, Lawrence Journal-World
"Map of the Human Heart is an enjoyable two-hour ride, an unusual and eccentric combination of old-fashioned and modern movie sensibilities, told from a decidedly '90s mindset."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Despite its historical surrounding and a few stabs at thematic depth, Map of the Human Heart has all the flavor and plot complexity of a Harlequin romance."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"Visually stunning and emotionally powerful... a buried treasure."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"Dreamy, romantic, and ultimately haunting. A rare movie that deserves to be called a true original."
‑ Chuck Rudolph, Matinee Magazine
"Map of the Human Heart is one of those rare films that illuminates a single human story, and does it so well that you're hardly aware you're watching a movie."
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
More reviews for Map of the Human Heart on Rotten Tomatoes