Ajyal Film Festival 2023

All Films

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Kaguyahime no monogatari)

Special Screening - Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2014

Isao Takahata / Feature Narrative / Japan / 2013 / 137 min / Colour / DCP / In Japanese / Arabic, English subtitles / MENA Premiere
Rated: Parental guidance is advised for viewers under the age of 13. Individuals under the age of 13 are not admitted into cinemas unless accompanied by an individual aged 18 or older.


A bamboo cutter finds a baby girl in the folds of a bamboo shoot and brings her home to his wife. The adoptive parents call the infant Kaguya and soon realise that the little girl has magical powers – and is of royal descent. When she becomes a beautiful woman, Kaguya
attracts a swarm of suitors, but spends her days in despair and numb solitude, until she discovers she is destined for something higher – and literally out of this world.
Just short of turning 30, animation house Studio Ghibli
demonstrates once again why it has such legendary status among anime fans with the back-to-back delivery of brilliant gems by its cofounders: Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘The Wind Rises’ (which opened Ajyal last year) and now, Isao Takahata’s ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’, whose ‘Horus: Prince of the Sun’ was featured in our focus on anime last year.
The acclaimed Japanese director turns the 10th-century Japanese folktale ‘The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter’ (believed to be one of the very first works of science fiction) into a visual masterpiece which is an homage to the Japanese art of ink-drawing and brush painting, and an allegorical cautionary tale about the evanescence of beauty and the emptiness of materialism.

About the Director

Isao Takahata was born in 1935, and studied French Literature at the University of Tokyo. Considered one of the most important directors of anime films, he became intrigued with animation after watching the animated feature ‘The King and the Mockingbird’ (1952). ‘Horus: Prince of the Sun’, his feature-length debutcame in 1968. In 1985, he co-founded Studio Ghibli with his long-time collaborative partner Hayao Miyazaki. His films include ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ (1988), ‘Only Yesterday’ (1991), ‘Pom Poko’ (1994) and ‘My Neighbours the Yamadas’ (1999).


Isao Takahata
Isao Takahata, Riko Sakaguchi
Seiichiro Ujiie
Joe Hisaishi
Keisuke Nakamura
Sales Company
Wild Bunch
Production Company
Studio Ghibli
Front Row Entertainment
Aki Asakura, Kengo Kora, Takeo Chii, Nobuko Miyamoto

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