World Cinema

The Guilty

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Guilty Starring Jakob Cedergren

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Shoplifters

500 Days Of Film Reviews Shoplifters Starring  Lily Franky, Sakura Andô And Kirin Kiki

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2018's Top 10 Foreign Language Films

500 Days Of Film Reviews 10 Of 2018’s Best Foreign Language Movies

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Custody

500 Days Of Film Reviews Custody Starring Thomas Gioria, Léa Drucker And Denis Ménochet

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Cold War

500 Days Of Film Reviews Cold War Starring Joanna Kulig And Tomasz Kot

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The Third Murder

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Third Murder Starring Masaharu Fukuyama And Kôji Yakusho

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In The Fade

500 Days Of Film Reviews In The Fade Starring Diane Kruger

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Sunday's Illness

500 Days Of Film Reviews Sunday’s Illness Starring Susi Sánchez And Bárbara Lennie

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Loveless

500 Days Of Film Reviews Loveless Starring Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin And Matvey Novikov

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Jeune Femme

500 Days Of Film Reviews Jeune Femme Starring Laetitia Dosch

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120 BPM

500 Days Of Film Reviews 120 BPM Starring Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois And Adèle Haenel

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The Square

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Square Starring Claes Bang, Dominic West And Elisabeth Moss

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A Fantastic Woman

500 Days Of Film Reviews A Fantastic Woman Starring Daniela Vega

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In Between

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, In Between, Starring Mouna Hawa, Sana Jammelieh And Shaden Kanboura

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A Man Called Ove

500 Days Of Film Reviews Tragicomedy, A Man Called Ove, Starring Rolf Lassgård And Bahar Pars 

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On Body And Soul

500 Days Of Film Reviews On Body And Soul, Starring Géza Morcsányi and Alexandra Borbél

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First They Killed My Father

500 Days Of Film Reviews First They Killed My Father Starring Sareum Srey Moch

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The Handmaiden

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, The Handmaiden, Starring Tae-ri Kim, Min-hee Kim and Jung-woo Ha

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Raw

500 Days Of Film Reviews Raw, Starring Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf And Rabah Nait Oufella

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Toni Erdmann

500 Days Of Film Reviews Comedy, Toni Erdmann, Starring Sandra Hüller And Peter Simonischek

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Inversion

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, Inversion, Starring Alireza Aghakhani, Sahar Dolatshahi And Roya Javidnia

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Heal The Living

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, Heal The Living, Starring Tahar Rahim, Emmanuelle Seigner And Anne Dorval

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Julieta

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, Julieta, Starring Emma Suarez And Adriana Ugarte 

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Victoria

500 Days Of Film Reviews Crime Drama, Victoria, Starring Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski

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Divines

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, Divines, Starring Oulaya Amamra, Déborah Lukumuena And Kevin Mischel

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Under The Shadow

500 Days Of Film Reviews Horror, Under The Shadows, Starring Narges Rashidi And Avin Manshadi.

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10 Of The Best Films In World Cinema

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REC

500 Days Of Film Reviews Spanish Horror, Rec, Starring Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza and Jorge-Yamam Serrano

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The Assassin

500 Days Of  Film Reviews Martial Arts Drama, The Assassin, Starring Chen Chang, Qi Shu and Yun Zhou

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The Clan

500 Days Of Film Reviews True-Life Crime Drama, The Clan, Starring Guillermo Francella And Peter Lanzani

 

In early 1980s Argentina, a seemingly normal family, in the traditional neighborhood of San Isidro, hides a terrible secret.

 

They make a living out of kidnap and murder.

 

All are, to a greater or lesser extent, complicit in these crimes. Father, Arquímedes Puccio (Guillermo Francella), meticulously plans the operations. Meanwhile, his eldest son, Alejandro (Peter Lanzani), helps by identifying possible kidnapping candidates.

 

However, as Argentina moves from a military dictatorship towards democracy, the immunity granted to Arquímedes begins to fade - putting his entire family at risk.  

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Things To Come

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, Things To Come, Starring Isabelle Huppert

 

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Our Little Sister

500 Days Of Film Reviews Our Little Sister From Director, Hirokazu Koreeda

 

When their estranged father dies, sisters Sachi, Yoshino and Chika Kôda journey from their seaside town south of Tokyo into the countryside to attend his funeral.

 

There, they meet their teenage half sister, Suzu.

 

The four sisters form an immediate bond. So, when Sachi invites the orphaned Suzu to live with them, she eagerly agrees.

 

Suzu’s arrival has a deep impact on each sister - taking them all on a loving journey of self discovery. 

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Embrace Of The Serpent

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Oscar Nominated Embrace Of The Serpent

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The Hunt

500 Days Of Film Reviews Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt Starring Mads Mikkelsen

 

Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is a well regarded nursery school assistant.

 

Having overcome the loss of his previous teaching job and a messy divorce, his life is finally starting to show positive signs for the future.

 

The nursery children love him, his son wants to return to live with him and he has a promising new relationship with a colleague.

 

However, Lucas’ life is suddenly destroyed by a lie that throws his small community into a state of dangerous hysteria.

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Mustang

500 Days Of Film Reviews Mustang, Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Stunning Film About Five Sisters In Rural Turkey

 

School’s out and it's the beginning of summer. In a small village in northern Turkey, five sisters are on their way home.

 

En route, they stop for an innocent game on the beach with some local boys.

 

Unbeknownst to them, prying, disapproving eyes are watching - viewing their games with suspicion and sparking a potential scandal for the family.  

 

Once home, they are beaten by their grandmother while their uncle turns their home into a prison. Forced to wear drab clothes and kept away from school, all they have to live for is an arranged marriage.

 

However, the sisters are not about to lose their freedom without a fight - testing their family to breaking point. 

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Son Of Saul

500 Days Of Film Reviews Son Of Saul

 

Son Of Saul tells the harrowing story of a Hungarian man called Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig). 

 

As a member of the Sonderkommando, Saul is forced to herd Jewish prisoners into the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau. He then has to dispose of their bodies.

 

One day, a young boy survives the gas chamber. Within minutes, the boy is suffocated by the camp’s German doctor. Saul risks a closer look - could this be his son?

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The Raid 2

Having Loved The Raid, 500 Days Of Film Warily Watches Its Sequel - The Raid 2.

 

In the hours following the events of The Raid, Rama (Iko Uwais) is forced to reinvent himself as an undercover cop in order to protect his wife and child. 

 

Working for an anti-corruption task-force led by Bunawar (Cok Simbara) - the only man he feels that he can trust - Rama has to become an enforcer for a local mob boss, Bangun (Tio Pakusadewo).

 

In order to find a way in, Rama has to form a bond with Bangun’s son, Uco. His mission then is to hunt for information linking the mob boss with police force corruption. 

 

However, Rama is also consumed by a need for revenge and justice - a desire that threatens to destroy both his mission and his life.

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10 Films To Make You Fall In Love With Subtitles

A couple of weeks ago, Odeon Cinemas tried something new. The cinema chain chose a foreign language film for its latest Screen Unseen event (the French thriller, Disorder).

 

It was wonderful to see a foreign language film on the big screen and I do hope that this is the start of a wider distribution of world cinema.

 

 

This film choice also made me think of my past (and frankly) ridiculous attitude to subtitles. I would avoid  foreign language films because I didn’t want to do too things at once - watch and read. Was it laziness? Ignorance. Perhaps a combination of both. 

 

I am so glad that I am now over my subtitle phobia. These days, it doesn’t matter to me where the film comes from. Indeed, I am often more interested in films from countries other than my own (England) and America.

 

As, it took my 500 Days Of Film Challenge to get me to this better place, I thought I would use this post to share my top ten foreign language films*.

 

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Disorder

500 Days Of Film Reviews Disorder And Finds A Tense Thriller About Truth And Paranoia 

 

Special services soldier, Vincent (Matthias Schoenerts), is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

 

With his career in the balance, Vincent takes a job as a security guard. He is tasked with protecting the family of Imad Whalid (Percy Kemp), a man with extremely shady political connections.

 

When Whalid leaves his plush villa in the South Of France on business, Vincent moves in to protect Whalid’s wife Jessie (an underutilised Diane Kruger) and their son Ali.

 

Vincent is convinced that they are in terrible danger. However, given his condition, can he be trusted?

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The Secret In Their Eyes (2010)

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Secret In Their Eyes And Finds A Tense And Gripping Thriller.

 

Retired criminal investigator, Benjamin Esposito (Ricardo Darin), is obsessed about the brutal rape and murder of a young woman in 1974. 

 

He was responsible for investigating this crime and bringing the killer to justice. However, for reasons out of his control, the case was mishandled and the murder unresolved. 

 

Benjamin knows that justice has not been done. That the victim's husband had such faith in him, makes this knowledge unbearable.

 

Seeking closure, he decides to write a novel about the case. He visits his old boss, Irene Menendez Hastings (Soledad Villamil), to ask for help and advice. The meeting stirs up old feelings - emotions that refuse to stay buried.

 

Benjamin wants to move on with his life. However, he cannot move forward without some form of resolution. Until then, he will remain haunted by the past.

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Ida

500 Days Of Film Reviews Ida And Finds A Stunning Film About Love And Betrayal

 

It is Poland, 1962. Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) is a novice preparing to be a nun.

 

An orphan, she has been brought up by the nuns in a remote convent.

 

Before she is allowed to take her vows, she is encouraged to see her only living relative, her Aunt Wanda.

 

When the two meet, Wanda has shocking news. Anna is Jewish and, before her parents were killed during World War 2, she used to be called Ida.

 

Together, the two women go on a journey to discover what happened to their family and find out who they are and where they belong.

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Rare Exports

500 Days Of Film Reviews Rare Exports And Finds A Brilliantly Creepy Christmas Classic


It's Christmas Eve in Finland and a US archaeological dig has just uncovered something startling.

 

Buried deep underground, frozen in a huge block of ice, is the real Father Christmas. 


However, this is not your typical Santa - no this creature is far scarier than that.

 

Far from warm and cuddly - this Santa is a reindeer slaying force to be reckoned with and he is out to punish anyone who has been naughty.


When young Pietari (wonderfully portrayed by Onni Tommila) realises that Santa has kidnapped all of the children in his village he knows it is time to take drastic action.

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Amour

500 Days Of Film Reviews Drama, Amour, Starring Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Isabelle Huppert

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A Separation

500 Days Of Film Reviews A Separation And Finds A Stunning Film About Love And Truth

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Once Upon A Time In Anatolia

500 Days Of Film Reviews Once Upon A Time In Anatolia And Finds A Haunting, Atmospheric Film That Rewards Your Patience


A group of men set out on a stormy night to find a body that has been buried somewhere in the desert. 


What they think will be a short, uncomplicated task soon becomes an epic journey that will have a profound impact on all involved.


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The Kid With A Bike

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Kid With A Bike And Finds A Wonderful Story With Powerful, Moving Performances


Living in a care home, Cyril is a young boy who refuses to believe that he has been abandoned.


He is desperate to be reunited with his father and find the bike that he left behind.   


He runs away from the home and returns to the flat where his father had lived.


It is empty, but he does meet hairdresser, Samantha, who agrees to help him and foster him on the weekends.

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A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

500 Days Of Film Reviews A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Starring Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Mozhan Marnó and Marshall Manesh

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A Royal Affair

500 Days Of Film Reviews A Royal Affair And Finds A Fascinating True Story With Passion And Depth


A Royal Affair tells the true story of Princess Caroline (Alicia Vikander) who is unhappily married to the mentally troubled King Christian VII of Denmark (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard). 


Increasingly isolated, she finds herself attracted to Johann Struensee (superbly portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen), the King’s physician and confident.


The two embark on a passionate affair and endeavour to use their influence with the King to bring enlightenment and freedom to their people. 

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The Raid

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Raid And Finds A Truly Breathtaking Action Film


Deep within the Indonesian city of Jakarta, lies a hellish place - a safe haven for violent criminals and drug dealers.


This 30 floor apartment block is a no-go area, even for the bravest of the city’s police force.


Determined to regain control, a team of police officers enter the building in an attempt to flush out the criminals - floor by floor.


However, it is only once in that they realise the enormity of their task and their battle becomes one of survival.  

Is It Any Good?

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Troll Hunter

Troll Hunter Review - www.500daysoffilm.com Film Reviews

500 Days Of Film Reviews Troll Hunter And Finds A Gripping And Entertaining Mock-Documentary


Film footage has been discovered in Norway featuring a group of college students and their recorded interactions with a Troll Hunter. 


The footage has been painstakingly edited (in chronological order) and authenticated (so that we know it is all real) to enable us to piece together what exactly happened to the students before they disappeared. 


Because they have not been seen since.

Is It Any Good?

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The Big Picture

The Big Picture Review - www.500DaysOfFilm.com Film Reviews

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Big Picture And Finds A Thriller And A Man On The Run


Paul Exben has everything that he ever wanted - a wife he adores, a young son he worships, a beautiful home and a successful career as a lawyer. 


So why then does he feel frustrated and unfulfilled?


While Paul struggles within the confines of his privileged life, he begins to suspect that his wife is having an affair.


She denies this when questioned but Paul is unconvinced and sets out to discover the truth.


Little does he know that this journey will end in tragedy and force him to run from his perfect life and everyone that he loves.

Is It Any Good?

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I Am Love

I Am Love Review - www.500daysoffilm.com

500 Days Of Film Reviews I Am Love And Finds High Drama And Tragedy Within A Wealthy Italian Family

 

Emma (an ever amazing Tilda Swinton) is wife and mother to a wealthy family based in Milan.

 

She lives to serve her husband and three children - and everything in the household runs perfectly.

 

However, a revelation from her daughter and a chance meeting with her son’s friend changes everything in Emma’s life.

 

She starts to explore her own needs and the possibility of her own happiness - sadly, with tragic results. 

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Let The Right One In

Let The Right One In Review www.500daysoffilm.com

500 Days Of Film Reviews Let The Right One In And Finds A Moving And Heartbreaking Film About The Difficulties Of Growing Up… Oh And Also Being A Vampire


In Let The Right One In, we meet Oskar, a lonely, friendless boy, who is being horribly bullied at school.


One day, an enigmatic young girl called Eli moves into his apartment block and he starts to think he might have found an ally. 


Eli warns Oskar that they cannot be friends and yet, despite this, the pair begin to form a close bond. Both feel different and very much on the outside.


Oskar then realises that Eli is different for a whole other reason - particularly after she tells him that she has been 12 for a very, very long time...

Is It Any Good?

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Julia's Eyes

Julia's Eyes Review  - www.500daysoffilm.com

500 Days Of Film Reviews Julia’s Eyes And Finds An Unsettling Chiller That Plays On Your Mind Long After The Credits Close


Julia’s sister, Sara, has committed suicide.


Everyone believes that Sara hanged herself after an operation to repair her eyesight was unsuccessful. 


Julia just cannot accept this conclusion. She is convinced that someone has murdered Sara.


As a result, and despite her own failing vision, she decides to retrace Sara’s last steps in order to find out just what happened to her sister.

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13 Assassins

13 Assassins Film Review - www.500daysoffilm.com

500 Days Of Film Reviews 13 Assassins And Find A Film About Loyalty, Honour… And A Whole Lotta Sword Fights


At the end of Japan’s feudal era, a group of 13 assassins (some but not all of them samurai) unite on a dangerous, potentially suicidal, mission.


Their mission is to kill an evil lord whose sadistic actions threaten to plunge the country into war. 


Is It Any Good?

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Patagonia

Patagonia Film Review www.500daysoffilm.com

500 Days Of Film Reviews Patagonia And Finds A Stunning Film That Looks Back At The Past And Forward To The Future. 


First a bit of backstory: 


In the early 1800’s many Welsh men and women decided to seek a fresh start and their fortune in other countries. 


Following an agreement with the Argentinian government, a place called Patagonia was earmarked as an ideal location where a Welsh community could thrive and grow.


In late May 1865, the first group of approximately 200 settlers left Liverpool - arriving at their destination on 27 July 1865.


Unfortunately, the Patagonian dream did not live up to their expectations. They had been told that their new environment would be much like the fertile land that they had left. Reality was harsh and barren. The colony looked doomed.


However, the people persevered and overtime the settlers transformed their environment into one of the most fertile and agricultural areas in the whole of Argentina.


To this day, there exists a little bit of Wales in Argentina. 


So to the film:

Patagonia the film follows two stories. In one, a couple travel from Wales to Patagonia. The other sees an elderly woman journey from Patagonia with her young neighbour to discover her roots in Wales.


These two stories do not overlap but often mirror and enrich each other.

Is It Any Good?

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Of Gods And Men

Of Gods And Men Review - 500 Days Of Film

500 Days Of Film Reviews Of Gods And Men And Finds A Powerful And Heartbreaking Film About Faith, Friendship And Sacrifice


A group of French monks, living in The Monastery Notre-Dame de l'Atlas of Tibhirine in Algeria, come under threat from Islamist rebel groups fighting in the country’s civil war.


Algerian government officials warn the monks of the danger that they face from the rebels and urge them to leave their monastery. However, the monks are conflicted. They do not want to become easy targets and yet they are also deeply reluctant to desert their community.


Each monk must examine his faith and choose to stay... or to leave.

Is It Any Good?

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We Are What We Are

500 Days Of Film Reviews We Are What We Are And Finds An Atmospheric Slow Burner And A Family Bound By A Horrific Secret


I was all set to view We Are What We Are when I realised that I was watching the wrong film.


Turns out I was about to watch the US remake of the Mexican original.  


So to be clear, I am actually reviewing 2010’s Somos Lo Que Hay. (I will, however, be watching the 2013 version later on in my 500 Days Of Film challenge.)


The film starts with a death. A man dies in the street. He is the father of a family that possesses a terrible secret. They are cannibals who relied on their father to bring them their victims. Now that he is dead, this role falls to the oldest child of the family - Alfredo. 


Unsurprisingly, Alfredo is none to keep to assume this role. His reluctance, however, creates a power vacuum that leads his mother, sister and brother to take matters into their own hands - with truly horrific consequences.   

Is It Any Good?

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Pan's Labyrinth

500 Days Of Film Review’s Pan’s Labyrinth And Discovers A Disturbing And Astounding Classic. 

 

Pan’s Labyrinth tells the dark and disturbing story of a young girl called Ofelia who moves, along with her heavily pregnant mother, to live with her stepfather on a rural military outpost in post-war (1944) Spain.

 

Her new home is full of danger, unimaginable cruelty and repression. Ofelia seeks refuge in her books about fairy stories and by wandering the woods nearby.

 

It is here that she discovers a labyrinth that is home to a collection of otherworldly, fantastical monsters.

 

The monsters believe that Ofelia is a princess, long lost to their world and promise her an escape from her miserable surroundings if she can fulfill three important tasks. 

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