The Tempest
The Tempest

The Tempest

Director Derek Jarman

Production year 1979

Length 95min.

Country UK


Derek Jarman’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s final play is an evocative depiction of colonialism, revenge, retribution and reconciliation. Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, and his daughter Miranda were abandoned on a remote island by the Duke’s evil brother Antonio. Twelve years later, Prospero has learnt the ‘liberal arts’; he creates a tempest to shipwreck Antonio’s ship on the mysterious island in an attempt to marry his travelling companion Prince Ferdinand of Naples  to his daughter, in order to restore peace between Milan and Naples. Jarman brings a punk sensibility to this production, with wild visuals and rich designs that easily conceal the film’s meagre budget.


Derek Jarman
Derek Jarman



Guy Ford, Mordecai Shreiber


Derek Jarman

Director of Photography

Peter Middleton

Production designer

Ian Whittaker, Yolanda Sonnabend

Music by

Brian Hodgson, John Lewis


Sarah Vickers


Lesley Walker


Peter Bull, David Meyer, Neil Cunningham, Heathcote Williams, Toyah Willcox, Karl Johnson,Richard Warwick

Production company(ies)

Boyd's Company

Derek Jarman

British filmmaker who crafted highly personal avant-garde motion pictures through which he sought to "demystify homosexuality" and explore human experience from a uniquely gay perspective. While Jarman often used classical plays or historical personages as the basis for his work, it was said that all of his films were in some way "about" homosexuality. Jarman studied at King’s College, London, and the Slade School of Fine Art. He had some success as a painter and as a set designer for the Royal Ballet, the English National Opera, and other arts companies. After designing sets for two films by the controversial director Ken Russell, Jarman tried his hand at moviemaking.


Sebastiane (1976), Jubilee (1977), The Tempest (1979), In the Shadow of the Sun (1980), The Angelic Conversation (1985), Caravaggio (1986), The Last of England (1988), War Requiem (1989), The Garden (1990), Edward II (1991), Wittgenstein (1993), Blue (1993).

FILMS 2016