IMDb > In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)
In the Realms of the Unreal
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

In the Realms of the Unreal (2004) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 3 | slideshow) Videos
In the Realms of the Unreal -- A documentary on Henry Darger, visionary artist, janitor, and novelist.


User Rating:
7.3/10   1,670 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 20% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for In the Realms of the Unreal on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 March 2008 (Japan) See more »
A documentary on Henry Darger, visionary artist, janitor, and novelist. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
An incredibly touching, disturbing, enlightening and beautiful story See more (36 total) »


  (in credits order)

Larry Pine ... Henry Darger (voice)

Dakota Fanning ... Narrator / Vivian Girls (voice)
Frier McCollister ... Additional Voice (voice)

Wally Wingert ... Additional Voice (voice)
Janice Hong ... Additional Voice (voice)
Ruby McCollister ... Additional Voice (voice)
Paul Robert Langdon ... Additional Voice (voice)
Mary O'Donnell ... Herself - Neighbor
Kiyoko Lerner ... Herself - Landlady
Mary Rooney ... Herself - Parish Bookkeeper
David Berglund ... Himself - Neighbor
Regina Waters ... Herself - Neighbor
Mark Waters ... Himself - Neighbor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Henry Darger ... Himself (photos)

Directed by
Jessica Yu 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Henry Darger  writings
Jessica Yu 

Produced by
Ellin Baumel .... line producer
Karen Carter .... associate producer
Sally Jo Fifer .... executive producer
Joan Huang .... co-producer
Cara Mertes .... executive producer
Kara Vallow .... animation producer
Susan West .... producer
Jessica Yu .... producer
Original Music by
Jeff Beal 
Film Editing by
Jessica Yu 
Casting by
Linda Lamontagne 
Art Department
Henry Darger .... artwork
Eric Koenig .... storyboard artist
Aurian Redson .... storyboard artist
Sound Department
Jeff Beal .... sound recordist: Many Rooms Music
Stephanie Brown .... supervising sound editor
Rick Ellis .... sound recording engineer
Paul Hackner .... re-recording engineer
Matt Hedges .... sound facility coordinator
Matthew Iadarola .... sound re-recording mixer
Eddie Kim .... sound designer
Tomas Marsh .... sound recording engineer
Del Martin .... re-recording engineer
Eryne Prine .... foley supervisor
Matt Hedges .... sound editorial coordinator (uncredited)
Eryne Prine .... sound editor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael F. Barrow .... cinematographer: New York (as Michael Barrow)
Tim Bieber .... director of photography: Chicago
Lamar Bloodworth .... gaffer
Joe Brady .... assistant camera
Osa Elmfors .... assistant camera
Ron Forsythe .... key grip
Bill Frye .... grip
Marlene Haegele .... second assistant camera
Shana Hagan .... director of photography: Los Angeles
T.S. Hale .... grip
Russell Harper .... director of photography: Chicago
Wesley Hicks .... additional camera operator
Darren Kasmir .... gaffer
Harry Lapham .... key grip
Juliet Lofaro .... still photographer
Guy Moeller .... grip
Ryan Puckett .... grip
Animation Department
Andrew Brandou .... animator
Britt Ehringer .... animator
Peter Ehrlich .... animator
Matthew Gadbois .... animator
Meher Gourjian .... animator
Tom Kanchanapinyokul .... animator
Eric Koenig .... animation storyboard artist
Aurian Redson .... animation storyboard artist
David Wigforss .... animator
Editorial Department
Michael Mintz .... color corrector
Thom Whitehead .... on-line editor
Music Department
Joan Beal .... conductor: choir
Other crew
Bill Abrams .... legal counsel: Abrams, Garfinkel & Rosen LLP
David Beall .... cleanup artist
David Berglund .... photos of Henry Darger courtesy of
Scott Marvel Cassidy .... book art sequences
Denise Chavez .... cleanup artist
Cynthia DeLaney Gorman .... marketing and sales
Jake Delman .... production assistant
Amy Dorn .... production assistant
Ron Forsythe .... researcher
Tony Haske .... production assistant
Rachel Katz-Atkin .... production assistant
Kiyoko Lerner .... Henry Darger's artwork and writings used by permission of
Kiyoko Lerner .... consultant
Kiyoko Lerner .... photos of Henry Darger courtesy of
Eric Lusk .... cleanup artist (as Erik Lusk)
Lisa Masseur .... production assistant
Mark Masseur .... production assistant
Rodd Miller .... cleanup artist
Christopher Nguyen .... production assistant
Elise Pearlstein .... researcher
Katherine Pitts .... operations manager
Larry Powell .... production assistant
Andrea Sausen .... production assistant
Kris Scheiffele .... researcher
Armando Nieto Soto III .... cleanup artist (as Armando Soto)
Joe Vaux .... cleanup artist
Chris Ware .... title art
Thom Whitehead .... digital transfers
Martin Yu .... animated website
Brooke Anderson .... thanks
David Berglund .... special thanks
Karen Carter .... thanks
Loretta Jeneski .... thanks (as Loretta Janeski)
Dao Le .... thanks
Kiyoko Lerner .... special thanks
Claudine Magre .... thanks
Mary O'Donnell .... special thanks
David Obermeyer .... thanks
Mary Rooney .... special thanks
Ted Shen .... thanks
Trixie .... thanks
Marc Waters .... special thanks
Regina Waters .... special thanks
Sydney Wilkinson .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
81 min
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

[last lines]
[end title cards]
Title Card:After Darger's death in 1973, the Lerners decided to share their discovery of his work, preserving his room and its contents.
Title Card:Since then, Henry Darger's work has been exhibited and collected worldwide. His art has inspired the creation of paintings, poetry, music, and works in theatre, dance, and opera.
Title Card:The room was dismantled in 2000.
See more »
Innocent When You Dream (78)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
An incredibly touching, disturbing, enlightening and beautiful story, 6 September 2012
Author: tomgillespie2002 from United Kingdom

Henry Darger, an unassuming, reclusive janitor, working and living in Chicago, died at the age of 81. To his landlady and neighbours, he was a simple man, who rarely conversed with them, and died in 1973 a lonely man, with no family or friends to speak of. Before he passed in a nursing home, a neighbour visited him, telling him that he had seen Darger's work, and was deeply impressed. He replied: "It's too late now." His landlady, Kiyoko Lerner, entered Darger's small flat to clear it and found, to her amazement, rows of manuscript, along with hundreds of accompanying paintings. The book, a fantasy world constructed over decades, was over 15,000 pages long, and completely unique to the unknown inner world of the man.

Darger had created a totally specific world, titled 'The Realms of the Unreal', that told the story of the Vivian girls, and their adventures during many Christian-led wars, the Glandeco-Angelinnian War, caused by the child slave rebellion. The paintings, constructed with various mediums and methods, illustrated this fantasy world, using collage, ink and paint, and he collected images, xeroxing many particular images over and over, to portray his beloved Vivian girls. With no exterior life, and a lack of social skills, Darger had lived completely within this inner world, where he kept intricate details and charts detailing the events in the "realm", and documented the wars - including names, dates of soldiers deaths, the costs of each of these wars: immensely detailed, impeccably assembled.

Whilst the actual reality of Darger's life is difficult to portray - only three photographs of him exist - he did begin a diary of his life after he retired. His life was one of desolation, separated from life, he was a devout Christian; he seemingly never had a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, but wanted deeply to have children. Many of the images he left behind hint at a man, whose asexuality, seems to be more about naivety. Often, naked little girls are portrayed in the paintings as having penises. This could point to a complete lack of knowledge of gender difference. However, without any actual input from the man, it is difficult to fully understand, and we can only speculate - it would be easy to accuse the man of unnatural desires, but I think this may be a cruel conclusion.

Jessica Yu's film is constructed of interviews with the few neighbours (I can't say they knew him, as clearly no one did), and a narration by Dakota Fanning - Larry Pine also recites passages from the Darger diary, expressing his inner desires. Visually, Yu uses Darger's paintings, animating the figures, and constructs a narrative largely connected with the stories in the book. It is an incredibly touching, disturbing, enlightening and beautiful story, but one which is tainted by many insidious conclusions and speculations. I saw this about five years ago, and it never really left my mind. The opportunity to watch it again filled me with questions as to whether it would touch me quite as much. It's hard not to be moved by this story. After all, Darger created one of the most colossal, detailed, and epic pieces of outsider art that I have ever encountered. A portrait of a damaged, complex person, who never really had the opportunity to share his body of work, until his death. Posthumously, his work is now displayed for the public. In 2001 the Henry Darger Centre was opened in The American Folk Art Museum in New York.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (36 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
It occurs to me... Muleke
Fascinating! bama1111
Pornography? sixgingus
where can i buy this? ronnybobbins
Amazing music. erik-783
tom waits song pbarrrgh
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Stranger Than Fiction Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson I Want to Destroy America Junebug Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Documentary section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.