Edge of Dreaming (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

January 9, 2011 by  

An ethereal documentary capturing the essence of life but also the fear of death.  For the many people who have had dreams come to life and have dismissed them as pure coincidence, “Edge of Dreaming” is a documentary worth watching. Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2010 Amy Hardie Productions. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Edge of Dreaming


DURATION: 76 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: Color, English, 16:9

COMPANY: Lorber Films

RATED: Not Rated

RELEASE DATE: January 4, 2011

Written, Produced and Directed by Amy Hardie

Produced by George Chignall, Doug Block and Lorie Cheatle

Edited by Ling Lee, Mike Cuyba and Colin Monie

Music and Sound Design by Jim Sutherland

AS SEEN ON PBS. Amy Hardie is a rational woman and professional filmmaker until she has a dream that her horse will die, and wakes to discover him dead in her field. She tries to pass it off as mere coincidence until another nightmare where her deceased ex-husband predicts that she will die before her next birthday. Amy chronicles her quest to understand the meaning of her destabilizing dreams.

Have you ever had a dream and by the next day, the dream came true?

I’m sure many people have had certain dreams and coincidences in which we chalk off as just coincidence but for Scottish filmmaker Amy Hardie, she has always been a rational woman, a filmmaker who has focused on science documentaries and always delved into what causes this and what cause that.  A normal woman with a loving family of three children (two daughters and a son from a previous marriage, her ex-husband died of cancer) and her current husband and a family that is happy as can be.

Living in the country, maintaining her horses, loving life.  And that filmmaker instinct of always bringing a video camera with her, may it be to film her family members or whatever nature brings to the countryside near her home.

But on one evening, while sleeping, she had a dream of her horse telling her that he will be dying but to film it.  Terrified about the dream and bothered by it, she woke up, as instructed by the dream, Amy grabbed her camera and ran out to look for her horse.  And as she filmed, it was her horse laying dead in the area that he told her of.

Why would she have such a dream?  So, clearly that she saw her horse and heard this voice from her horse of its death to find out that he did die.  Coincidence?  Possibly.

That is until she had her next dream.

This dream was much worse than before.  It was her deceased ex-husband giving her bad news that when she turns 48-years-old, she will die.

And this leads to Amy Hardie, mother/filmmaker to contemplate whether or not she should listen to the dream.  Her last dream of her horse came true, should she believe this second dream?

Amy first tells her husband, who tells her it’s just a dream.  She tells her older son, who does the same but at the same time is saddened as he can’t deal with another parent dying. As for her two younger daughters, seeing how her son reacted, she dare not tell them.

But being a filmmaker who always looks for a cause in her science documentaries, Amy starts to look into dreams.  She turns 48 but if she is to die this year, she wants to document everything.  From her emotions, her research of dreams, her family’s reaction.  And at times wondering if she should listen to dreams as it may just be a dream and not come true at all.

As she lives her life wondering, she starts to cough and then she starts to cough more and more.  At first it was thought as a cold but since she lives in an area free of industry, full of trees and fresh air, what could be causing the cough?  As she goes for a doctor’s visit, she learns that her lungs are in bad shape and her lungs are hardening and now she must go through several tests.

Now panic sets in.  Has the dream came true?  Are these the final moments that she will have with her husband and children?  Amy continues to document her life, even going as far as interviewing professionals who give their explanation about dreams and whether or not Amy should care about that dream she had.

Can dreams give us an idea of what can happen in the future?  What causes dreams?  Can dreams be trusted?

Will mother, wife, filmmaker Amy Hardie survive her 48th year?

“Edge of Dreaming” chronicles Amy Hardie’s quest as she looks into the meaning of her dreams.


“Edge of Dreaming” is presented in 16:9 color.  Amy Hardie filmed everything via her digital video camera.  A lot of good cuts and editing for her documentary with also science-based animation when it comes to the brain and its neural pathways and more.  Shots of Scotland are breathtaking but this documentary is focused on Amy, her family and whatever she felt like recording during this difficult and scary time in her life.

Audio is in English and there is use of music but for the most part, it’s Amy documenting her feelings of the day, approaching each month and her thoughts at the time, interviews with family members and researchers and more.  Audio is clear and understandable.


“Edge of Dreams”comes with the following special features:

  • Interview with Director Amy Hardie – (5:40) Filmmaker Amy Hardie talks about her film and discussing her dreams.
  • Research Interviews: Adam Zeman, Professor of Neurology – (13:48) Adam Zeman talks about what causes of dreams.
  • Research Interviews: Michael Hare-Duke, Episcopal Bishop – (6:55) Michael Hare-Duke talks about death.
  • Research Interviews: Fiona Clark, Nurse – (6:14) Fiona talks about being people who have died.
  • Research Interviews: Sandra Ingerman, Contemporary Shaman – (8:19) Sandra talks about nature and what nature is saying to humanity.
  • Research Interviews: Claudia Goncalves, Shamanic Practicioner – (5:19) Talking about accessing the spiritual world.
  • Research Interviews: Dr. Peter Fenwick, Consultant Neuropsychiatrist – (8:32) Talks about out-of-death experiences and patients who has had them.

A whimsical documentary that captures the essence of life and also the fear of death.

Many people who have had dreams that come true often look at these occurrences as coincidence.  For Amy Hardie, to have a dream of your horse dying and then finding your horse dead, with a nightmare of her dead ex-husband telling her that she would be dead by 48, one can look at such nightmare as an occurrence generated from something one watched or something must of happened in life to lead to that dream.

But in Hardie’s case, the coughing and then the diagnosis by her doctors about her bad lungs which were getting worse by each visit, needless to say, I can see why Hardie would go in panic mode.

You love life, you love your family and you feel that it’s not your time left to go.

But what makes “Edge of Dreaming” so intriguing was right after Amy Hardie had the first dream, especially with her horse telling her to film… she filmed it.  From that day forward, her experience, her telling her husband, her son and then reaching her 48th birthday, living life not knowing if she will live or die but death seemed more likely at the time her doctors were diagnosing her lung problems.

But I believe that the filming was not just done for the sake of creating a documentary on one’s life close to death and starting off from a dream, I believe that these video diaries, these clips were half Amy documenting her love for her family and filming what she believed as her last moments with her family and wanting to have a video capturing that.  But then the other half is the science documentary filmmaker in her to find out the cause of dreams, what makes dreams, have their been test on dreams and needless to say, from the books that she read and the professionals she had interviewed, I don’t know if their answers made her feel any better.

As I watched this film, I always have wondered about dreams.  Are they something of the subconscious, coincidence or what prompted one to experience such a dream.  As people gave their examples through the documentary, I had such an experience of a deceased friend trying to communicate to me and to give a message to an ex-girlfriend who was a friend of mine.  Needless to say, I contacted her and told her about the dream I had (believing nonchalantly that the dream was quite ridiculous but yet I just had to tell her) and shockingly, she was surprised because not only did she think about him at that time, the details of the message from the dream are things that only the two of them know about and have discussed with each other and the music that played in the dream, she was just listening to earlier.  There were details that no one else knew but them.  And the message was from my deceased friend to her was “everything will be OK?” and she said that she had been depressed by situations in her life as of late and the fact that I contacted her during that time with a message from her deceased ex and the details of what was seen in the dream was special.

Another example of these “dreams” I had was a friends dog, who I haven’t seen for years had popped up in my head.  I felt it was so ridiculous because why would I have a dream of a friend’s dog.  I never had a dream or even thought of his dog ever.  But the dream was my friend and his family telling their dog, a beagle who has grown old to try his best and jump on the couch.  The dog kept trying but he was too old but when the family urged him that he can do it, he did it.

Learning from that first dream I had with the female friend, I just had to see if this dream of my friend’s dog had anything to do with reality.  Because, why would I have a dream of his dog?  Weird.

So, I contacted my friend about this weird dream that I had days ago and let’s just say that he was shocked.  When I asked why?  He said, “It’s interesting that you had a dream of our dog because several days ago, he had passed away”.

Needless to say, I was spooked out by this and needless to say, I know what Amy Hardie went through when she had that first dream of her horse.  Coincidence?  Neurons?  Our dreams have some link to reality?  Or what?

I have no idea why I had these dreams but it happened and even I had done some research online but felt that there was no reason for them.  Things just happen I suppose and thus, Amy Hardie’s documentary “Edge of Dreaming” made sense to me.  The way it was shot, edited and presented was whimsical but those emotions she felt as she recorded herself, her family…these were genuine emotions. No need for an extensive budget or high-end hardware, this was a filmmaker filming day-to-day at her home and wondering if she will die that year.  As a viewer, we experience first hand of what is in her mind, what is in her family’s mind and join her on this adventure as she tries to get answers to why she is having these dreams.

“Edge of Dreaming” is a ethereal, intriguing and satisfying documentary that I enjoyed from beginning to end and I have no doubt that you will too.  It captures the essence of life, the fear of death and chronicling her life and each day as it if it was her last.

A touching documentary that is definitely recommended!

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