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The Red Turtle


Year: 2016 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit 
Starring: Emmanuel Garijo, Tom Hudson, Baptiste Goy  
An image from The Red Turtle

The latest Studio Ghibli film is the first to be directed by a Dutchman, Michaël Dudok de Wit. His European influence can be seen in the animation style as within the wonderful blend of hand-drawn and computer animation you can see how Hergé inspired him.

The film depicts a man washed up on a desert island and his struggle to survive. His attempts to escape are thwarted as his raft is broken to pieces by a mysterious force which we later discover is the Red turtle; the rest of the film explores the interactions between the man, the turtle and the island.

There is no speech in the film which gives a greater weight to every animated movement, whether that be the delicate sway of bamboo or the thrashing rain and waves of a storm. The film showcases some breath-takingly beautiful and simple natural imagery which depicts the complicated relationship between man and the natural world. In its exploration of life cycles there is a wonderful sensitivity and poignancy to the narrative, giving a depth and nuance reflected in the splendid contrasting of the rich colours and organic sounds of the island with the brilliantly simple black and white dream sequences. Combined with the short excerpts of classical music which feature in the stranded man’s mirages a clear and truly stunning film is created which cannot be missed.

Alice Saunders

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Screenings of this film:

2017/2018 Autumn Term (digital)