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EDGE OF DREAMING (director/writer: Amy Hardie; cinematographera: Ms. Hardie/Ian Dodds/the Hardie family; animation: Cameron Duguid; editors: Ling Lee/Mike Culyba/Colin Monie; music: Gunnar Oskarsson/Jim Sutherland; Runtime: 73; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Ms. Hardie/George Chignell/Doug Block/Lori Cheatle; Lorber Films; 2009-UK)
It’s a wonderful little film that doesn’t try to do too much, but what it does accomplish it does so with great clarity and intimacy.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Scottish science documentarian Amy Hardie creates this solid personal PBS type of film that offers us intimate hugs of knowledge instead of a book-load of facts. It marries reality with fantasy and views dreams with a sensible open-minded attitude as a useful source of reality, if you know how to interpret them. It’s a wonderful little film that doesn’t try to do too much, but what it does accomplish it does so with great clarity and intimacy.

Amy Hardie lives a happy life in her family’s spacious isolated dream house (passed down from ten generations) in the Scottish Borders with her husband Peter, a psychotherapist, her two young daughters, and an older son from her first marriage to Arthur–a filmmaker from Gibraltar she divorced and who passed away in 2004.

The event that shapes this pic, is when one night there was a power outage at home and during the night Amy had a dream of her beloved horse George dying and in the morning discovered the horse died overnight from a heart attack. The shaken Amy rarely ever remembered her dreams, but this haunting one shook her up. It led her to askabout the meaning of dreams and why we dream. Unable to understand the nature and complexities of dreams, she settled for believing it was a coincidence.

But soon followed another haunting dream, with Arthur appearing to warn her that she will die by the end of her 48th year. Since Amy was 48, this warning from a loved one in the other world was not taken lightly. Her fright increased when she began to have trouble breathing and even after being tested at the hospital, the problem could not be properly diagnosed and continued to plague her as a mysterious breathing ailment that threatened to collapse her lungs.

Fearing the dream of her demise would come true literally, Amy became obsessed with doing research on dreams, reading Carl Jung and consulting two leading experts: biology Professor Irving Weisman of Stanford and neuroscientist Dr. Mark Solms of the Royal London School of Medicine. They generously provided some useful knowledge of how the brain operates, which made her more obsessed with knowing more about how dreams functioned. She now realized some dreams do indeed give us information on the real world. Amy’s anxiety was so great, that she even went to a Brazilianshaman healer (Claudia Goncalve) and found some more useful ways to understand her dream.

Receiving the love and support of her wholesome family, Amy was able to celebrate her 49th birthday peacefully with family and friends at home. She was also able to learn to live with the fact that her lungs were damaged and she would have to breath without them working at full capacity for the remainder of her life.

Though it didn’t break any new ground in telling us things about dreams we didn’t already know, this was an intelligent and warm-hearted film that was filmed in a lively entertaining way with family videos, visually pleasing seasonal scenes at the Scottish Borders and an interesting animation. The pic celebrates human curiosity and warns us how fragile is life, and encourages us to think about dreams as an important aspect of life that even the filmmaker herself didn’t give much thought to until its value hit home.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”