Expat Cinema: My Neighbor Totoro (+English subtitles)

Screening on Sunday 7 January 19.35 with English subtitles

To celebrate the new Studio Ghibli film The Boy and the Heron, we screen another masterpiece of Hayao Miyazaki: My Neighbor Totoro.

While their mother recovers from an illness, Satsuki and her little sister Mei get away from it all in an idyllic rural retreat. Far from the bustle of the city, they discover a mysterious place of spirits and magic, and the friendship of the Totoro woodland creatures.

“One of the most beloved of all family films” Roger Ebert

Mogelijk schadelijk tot 6 jaar Angst

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Eight-year-old Satsuki and her baby sister Mei are moving with their father, a University professor, to a house in the country so they can be nearer to their mother. Satsuki’s mother has been confined to a nearby hospital, recuperating from a serious illness. The family’s new house is a rickety farmhouse that hasn’t been used in some time. The girls throw themselves into the task of bringing the house back to life. Mei discovers little black balls of dust that seem to be alive and scurry away from the light.

Playing in the yard one day, little Mei spots a tiny creature carrying a sack and gathering acorns. She follows it into the woods and through the underbrush until she is swallowed up into a hole in the side of a huge tree. At the bottom of the hole she meets Totoro, a huge furry creature the size of a small house, fast asleep. This is the story of Mei and Satsuki’s friendship with the magical Totoro and his friends, who can’t be seen by adults, but only by the children who love them. The girls fly with Totoro on a warm summer night, plant giant trees that grow in minutes and sit in high in its branches. The girls also call on Totoro and his friends when they are in trouble.

The wholesome beauty of this film, its characters and its unforgettable music make this what Roger Ebert has called a film that is “one of the very few that come along that are magical for all ages.”