Map of the Human Heart

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -2

Using some English subtitles, this film with dialogue in Eskimo and English is an epic love triangle. In a series of flashbacks the half-Eskimo, half-white Avik (played as a man by Jason Scott Lee and as a child by Robert Joamie) tells the story of his rise from an Eskimo tribe to a top-gun in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. Along the way he is befriended by Walter (Patrick Bergin), a dashing pilot who saves the boy from tuberculosis. At the sanitarium, Avik meets the young Albertine (played by Anne Parillaud as an adult and by Annie Galipeau as a child), who is half-Indian, half-white. Avik and Albertine become close friends, and Avik never gets over his feelings for her. Many years later Avik again meets Albertine in London, married to Walter. With the war raging, their love for each other is rekindled; unfortunately this leads to adultery. Throughout the film, the visual effects are stunning, from the ice flows in the Arctic to the fire-bombing of Dresden. Many poignant and beautiful scenes play upon the screen, leading to an emotionally-tragic climax.

Although the violence of the war is graphically portrayed, mainly from the air, it is handled well and not gratuitous. In the sanitarium, a nun beats Avik with a stick, and two drownings are implied. Not for the squeamish is the skinning of a seal. A few times TB patients cough up blood, and Walter hits a frozen corpse with a stick. There is a brief graphic intercourse scene on top of a hot-air balloon, with full rear nudity. Avik and Albertine's adultery is neither condemned nor condoned. The young Eskimo boy learning English uses the expression, "holy boy" apparently meaning "oh, boy." The use of "holy boy" carries over to his Air Force days as his nickname. When Avik says an obscenity to the nun, she replies that "hell is too good for you." Also portrayed is the tension and prejudice toward the Eskimos and the two half-breeds. MAP OF THE HUMAN HEART is very moving, but the graphic intercourse scene and theme of adultery seriously detract from its acceptability.

Preview Reviewer: Alice Anderson
Miramax Films, 18 E 48th St., Suite 1601, NY, NY 10017

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times - Mild 1; Moderate 2

Obscene Language: Several (7) times (f-word 4; s-word 3)

Profanity: Few times

Violence: Many times - moderate to severe (bombings and war scenes, child spanked and children fighting, implied drownings, hitting frozen corpse)

Sex: Once, brief but graphic (rear male nudity)

Nudity: Several (5) times (nude children brief frontal, rear male during intercourse, and nudes in textbook)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: One comment about intercourse

Drugs: Alcohol drinking twice

Other: Nun portrayed as cruel; use of 'holy boy' in place of 'oh boy'

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