Map of the Human Heart (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

Map of the Human Heart (1992)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Map of the Human Heart Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

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 Indian girl, and the two fall in love, but their relationship is quickly broken up by the Mother Superior who is in charge of the clinic. Years later, Avik again meets Russell, who this time is on a mission to recover the German U-boat lying wrecked off the coast of Nunataaq. Avik asks for Russell's help in learning the whereabouts of Albertine, and he gives the cartographer a chest X-ray of the girl which he has carried with him since their separation. More time elapses, and Avik (now played by Jason Scott Lee) has become a British bombardier fighting in World War II. He is sought out by Albertine (Anne Parillaud), who has become Russell's mistress. Still, she begins an affair with Avik; Russell soon finds out, and as revenge sends Avik and his crew on a suicide mission of which Avik is the lone survivor. Despondent over his war experiences, Avik flees to Canada, where he becomes an alcoholic; decades later, he is sought out by Rainee (Clotilde Courau), the daughter born from his affair with Albertine. On his way to the girl's wedding, Avik is killed in an accident; his body washes up on the beach at Nunataaq, a wedding gift still clutched in his arms.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Louis Nowra, Horton Foote, Vincent Ward
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 31, 2004
HBO Video


Anne Parillaud
as Albertine
Robert Joamie
as Young Avik
Annie Galipeau
as Young Albertine
Jeanne Moreau
as Sister Banville
Jerry Snell
as Boleslaw
Matt Holland
as Navigator
Kliment Denchev
as Doctor on Boat
Jayko Pitseolak
as Avik's Grandmother
Frank Verellen
as Chopper Pilot
Jeff Mahoney
as Chopper NCO
Rebecca Vevee
as Inuit Woman--Cook
Mark Ruel
as Photo Analyst
Josape Kopalee
as Inuit Elder
Monique Spaziani
as Kind Nurse
Minor Mustain
as Army Sergeant
Jod Leveille Bernard
as Newspaper Boy
Edouard Kurtness
as Indian Patient
Harry Hill
as Doctor
Marc Ruel
as Michael
Tyley Ross
as Messenger
Griffith Brewer
as Homeguard
Robert Higden
as Photographer
Robin Dorken
as Oilman in Bar
Bill Rowat
as Barman
Haden Devine
as American Soldier
Gordon Masten
as Colonel Jameson
Michelle Turmel
as Ginger Jameson
Sean Hayes
as Hotel Bellboy
Rick Manburg
as Walter's NCO
Dennis St John
as Moravian Minister
Kliment Dentchev
as Doctor on Boat
Tamar Koslov
as Margarete
Bronwen Mantel
as Woman Guest
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Map of the Human Heart

Critic Reviews for Map of the Human Heart

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6)

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

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

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… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A film of incantatory intensity and moment by a prodigiously gifted young filmmaker.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Map of the Human Heart

Nice. Moving. Touching...even though the style of this movie definitely shows its age. Much has happened in the last 20 yrs to improve productions. To see this movie made again, with todays expertise, would be really fantastic. FYI: John Cusack is in this for less than 5 min...

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Average film narrative about an Inuit Eskimo's life and his relationship with a half-breed Indian girl that looks like its epic story.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


The movie starts off very well with interesting relationships between Inuit, European and other Meso-American peoples and then switches gears into a sweeping romance. Jason Scott Lee really steps up to and fills his role as an Inuit who is drawn into a world he is unfamiliar with. By the time the film gets to WWII it might as well be Pearl Harbor w/ burning models instead of god CGI. As a note Cusack has a 5 Minute role sitting at a table looking at a map listening to Lee retell his story

Bill Cavros

Super Reviewer

Map of the Human Heart Quotes

– Submitted by Pete H (18 months ago)
– Submitted by Pete H (18 months ago)

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