1991 | Prospero’s Books

Peter Greenaway retells Shakespeare's The Tempest in a unique parallel structure: the introduction of the books is followed by episodes that fit each other  thematically, and thus within the story "reality" is achieved through use of the imagination. Through dance and words Greenaway's interpretation is revealed.


Director Peter Greenaway

Cinematography Sacha Vierny

Music composed Michael Nyman

Producer Kees Kasander

Production Designer Ben van Os, Jan Roelfs

Costume Design Prospero’s Cloak Emi Wada

Costumes Design Prospero’s Creatures Ellen Lens


Cast Sir John Gielgud, Michael Clark, Isabelle Pasco, Michel Blanc, Erland Josephson, Tom Bell, Mark Rylance, James Thierree, Gerard Thoolen, Pierre Bokma, Jim van der Woude, Michiel Romijn, Emil Wolk, Marie Angel, Ute Lemper


Genre Drama, Fantasy, History

Costumes Fantasy

Filming location The Netherlands



Awards and Nominations


1991 Venice Film Festival - Italy

Golden Lion Peter Greenaway


1991 Netherlands Film Festival

WonGolden Calf Best Film Kees Kasander


1992 Fantasporto - Portugal

Award Best Film Peter Greenaway


1992 BAFTA Awards BAFTA Film Award - UK

Best Visual Effects Eve Ramboz, Frans Wamelink


1992 London Critics Circle Awards - UK

Won  ALSF Award Peter Greenaway


1992 Warsaw International Film Festival - Poland

Won  Audience Award Peter Greenaway


2012 20/20 Awards

Best Costume Design Ellen Lens