Director: Hayao Miyazaki

2023, 124 min., PG-13

Language: Japanese with English subtitles

Screenwriter: Hayao Miyazaki

Cast: Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Mark Hamill, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Florence Pugh


“Utterly transporting” – The Monocle. “elegant, beautiful, soaring” –  Chicago Sun-Times. “Wonderous!” – London Standard. “Triumphant” -– Boston Globe. “Alive and awake with energy” – The Atlantic

Rarely are critics in such complete agreement as they are about Hayao Miyazaki’s new film, made after a 10 year “retirement.” At 83, the filmmaker of Spirited Away. My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki’s Delivery Service has surprised viewers with a film bursting with innovative techniques, incomparable hand-drawn animation, and a spiritual journey that transforms grief into radiant empathy. Set in wartime Japan, a 12-year-old boy named Mohiko moves to the safer countryside with his father and step-mother, after his mother is killed in a fire. Here he finds a mysterious talking heron who urges the boy to look for his mother in his Uncle’s enchanted tower. From this point on, Mohiko enters a magical world of martial parakeets, cuddly wara waras, the free-floating souls of the dead, and his missing Uncle, who urges him to pick up the mantle of changing a self-destructive world by asking him (and all of us) “how do you live?”