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Pan's Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno)

Modern Masters

/ Feature Narrative / Mexico, Spain, United States of America / 2006
In Spanish / Arabic, English subtitles
No Premiere
Rated: Parental guidance advised for viewers under the age of 15. Individuals under the age of 15 are not admitted into cinemas unless accompanied by an individual aged 18 or over.

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A dark, twisted and beautiful adventure, ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ seamlessly blends the real and supernatural in a visually stunning fantasy about Falangist Spain. Young Ofelia travels with her mother to the home of her new stepfather, the cruel and ruthless Captain Vidal, who is engaged in an ongoing battle with local rebels. Ofelia becomes intrigued by a stick insect, which she is convinced is magical. And indeed, while she tries to get used to her new home, the insect turns into a fairy, who leads her to an abandoned labyrinth. There she meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself and her ailing mother.

As Ofelia moves between the magical world of the labyrinth and the brutal conflict of her home, the film is wonderfully ambiguous as to whether the labyrinth is merely a product of her overactive imagination. Ofelia is a lover of fairy tales, and it is her firm belief in the enchanted realm that provides ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ with its enduring charm. The Academy-award winning production design of Eugenio Caballero is exquisite, no small feat considering the complex and often layered interplay between the worlds—and an achievement that many production designers cite today as a benchmark of creative film design.

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