Synopsis: A well-educated psychiatrist leaves an academic career to work at an institution where his father, a novelist, lived before writing a renowned children's book. Acclimating to his position, he encounters a schizophrenic who helps him to discover the book's secrets and his place in the story.
Production: Senator Film
Rotten Tomatoes:
103 min


(sound of heart beating)


(woman) Zachary!

(dog barking)

(man) For those of you

who do not know,

this is how it began.

Zachary Small was

an ordinary little boy.

He lived with his ordinary

father in an ordinary house

in an ordinary town.

What Zachary did not know,

could not know,

was just how

un-ordinary he was.

I had heard the stories of young

Zachary and his fearlessness.

I had seen with my own eyes

his selfless acts

of bravery and courage,

and I knew deep in my heart

that he would return

to rescue me

when I was imprisoned

in the dungeon that last time.

Just as the prophecy decreed,

he would restore me

to my rightful place

to the kingdom

he had long since abandoned.

But days turned into months,

and months into years,

and my certainty faded until

all that was left was despair.

Then again,

stories are living things,

given to turns unpredictable.

Nothing could prepare Zachary

for what was to come,

for what he would become.

Like all boys,

he had grown older.

But had he forgotten

his purpose?

Had he forgotten the prophecy?

His destiny?

What follows is

all I know to be true.

If there was a road leading

Zachary back to himself,

it could only move

in one direction:

through the very heart

of Neverwas.

This place will kill me.

It never ends.

Dr. Reed?

It's really nice

to meet you.

Can you hand me that...

the whatchmacallit?

The bucket of patching stuff there on my desk?

Oh, sure.

I'm at war with the ceiling.

And losing,

by the looks of it.

Yeah, the whole building

is conspiring to fall down around me.

Can I get your name?

I'm sorry. I'm Zach Riley.

We spoke on the phone a few weeks back.

I speak to a lot of people.

I'm here about

the psychiatrist position.

Oh, right. You're the...

You're... Dr. Riley.

You were on staff at Cornell.


Oh, thank you.

Sit down.


Just move those files,

all right?

I love your clinic, Doctor.

It's got a certain amount

of character

that you don't, uh,

you don't find everywhere.

Can I speak honestly

with you, Dr. Riley?

Yeah, call me Zach.

And yes, absolutely.

This is not really

the kind of opening

that you're looking for, Zach.

I read your proposal.

It's very impressive.

MD at Yale.

Clinical work at Cornell.

I just... I don't think you

would make a good match here.

The AMA has declared

that we're not even worthy of funding.

I'm surprised

you even heard about it.

I'm sorry that you made

a trip for no reason,

and if you'll excuse me now,

I have group in a few minutes.

(chuckles) That-that's it?

We're not even gonna talk?

On your way out of town,

stop at the pub on Main.

They have a great Irish stew.

Massive chunks of lamb.

You don't understand.

I'm counting on a position at Millwood.

No one counts on

a position here.

Dr. Reed, I'm really not

gonna take no for an answer,

so please hear me out.

I had an acquaintance who was

a patient at Millwood a long time ago.

Whatever treatment he received,

it didn't do him much good.

So for me, coming back here

is about giving the patients

what my friend never got.

I'm serious about this.

I mean, I've already rented

a place in town.

Pretty confident.

I mean, what can I say?

I want the job.

One month.

I'll take it.

On trial.


No benefits.


Come with me.

Down here we have doctors'

offices and intake rooms.

Most all our patients

are low or nonfunctioning.

Sorry to say we no longer

have an outpatient program.

All but one of my wards

shut down.

Funding cuts, of course.

Development is what

we're all about here.

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Joshua Michael Stern

Joshua Michael Stern is an American film director and screenwriter. He has directed three feature films: Neverwas (2005), Swing Vote (2008) and the 2013 biographical film Jobs, based on the life of Steve Jobs.. He also created the political comedy television series Graves (2016–2017). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Neverwas" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 6 Dec. 2021. <>.

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