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PAN’S LABYRINTH

Director: Guillermo del Toro

MEXICO-SPAIN-U.S.A.| 2006. SUBTITLED. COLOUR. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO. 120 MIN.


There’s plenty of blood—both literal and figurative—coursing through the veins of Pan’s Labyrinth, a richly imagined and exquisitely violent fantasy from writer-director Guillermo del Toro. A fairy tale not even remotely intended for children, this entrancing magical-realist drama concocts a sinister spin on Alice in Wonderland against the wartorn backdrop of 1940s Spain, shifting between two worlds with striking craft and discipline. Though he’s best known for directing the comic book adaptations Blade II and Hellboy, the Mexican director’s sixth feature marks a return to the supernatural trappings and delicately shaded emotions of his 2001 ghost story The Devil’s Backbone. Like the earlier film, Pan’s Labyrinth is set during the violent aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and reveals a similar concern for the plight of children living under fascist rule. Probably del Toro’s best film to date, this powerfully imaginative piece received a 20-minute standing ovation after its Cannes Film Festival screening.

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