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Pan’s Labyrinth (MA15+)

‘Hello. I’m Princess Moanna and I am not afraid of you.’

In post-Civil war Spain, 1944, a young girl named Ofelia travels with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless and cruel captain of the Spanish army who has been assigned to hunt down republican rebels. Exploring the forest surrounding her new home, Ofelia encounters a fairy who leads her to the centre of an abandoned labyrinth. There, she meets a mysterious faun who is certain Ofelia is Princess Moanna, daughter of the king of the underworld. The faun assigns her three mystical tasks that she must complete before the next full moon in order to prove her royalty and achieve immortality. Ofelia sets about completing the tasks, otherwise she can never hope to see her real father, the king, again.

Why should you see this film?

An enchanting and endlessly imaginative fairy tale for adults,  Pan’s Labyrinth received universal acclaim when it was released, peaking numerous ‘Top 10 lists’ of 2006. The film was nominated for a total of 6 Academy Awards and won 3, for Cinematography, Art Direction and Makeup. Interestingly Del Toro has noted the similarities between his film and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which Del Toro turned down to direct Pan’s Labyrinth. Fun fact: the nightmarish, saggy-skinned Pale Man creature from the film was inspired by a bout of weight loss on Del Toro’s part.