Amy Hardie: The Edge of Dreaming

Our American readers can watch (on PBS, 10pmEST) Amy Hardie’s great film tonite. If you live outside the U.S. you can watch it online for free from tomorrow and for the next three months. On the site mentioned below. I post the review that I wrote after the premiere at idfa 2009:

There you go, a real camera stylo personal essay film with an original, personal style. I was completely taken in by the beauty of the film, “The Edge of Dreaming”, of Scottish filmmaker Amy Hardie. It touched me, made me reflect on my own life, my family life, my growing up, at the same time as the intensity of storytelling makes you stay in an atmosphere of listening and watching and reflecting. For me this is what a good documentary can be with many layers, a mature commentary, about Life and Death, and told in numerous stylistical lines. You can´t help fall in love with the family of Amy Hardie. They live in (Scottish) nature surroundings that a camera can only adore. And you can´t help admire the manner Hardie, using rough home video material, goes visually elegantly back in time and forward again. We get her story about her first husband, who died years ago, but who comes back to her in a dream to ”announce” that she will die when she is 48 years of age. There are dream sequences, and there are stunning images that make me think of classic Dutch paintings. It is all mixed brilliantly and without any predictability. I better stop my praise and give you the prose of the producers from the idfa catalogue:

This is the story of a rational, sceptical woman, a mother and wife, who does not remember her dreams. Except once, when she dreamt her horse was dying. She woke so scared she went outside in the night. She found him dead. The next dream told her she would die herself, when she was 48. The film explores life, dreams and death in the context of a warm, loving family whose happiness is increasingly threatened as the dream seems to be proving true. The final confrontation, returning inside the dream with a shaman, reveals a surprising twist to the tale.

Scotland, 2009, 73 mins. – and (bravo) with the support of ZDF/arte, More4 and VPRO plus of course Scottish Screen.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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