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Surrounded by the immense and furious ocean, a shipwrecked mariner battles all alone for his life with the relentless towering waves. Right on the brink of his demise, the man set adrift by the raging tempest washes ashore on a small and deserted tropical island of sandy beaches, timid animal inhabitants and a slender but graceful swaying bamboo forest. Alone, famished, yet, determined to break free from his Eden-like prison, after foraging for food and fresh water and encouraged by the dense forest, the stranded sailor builds a raft and sets off to the wide sea, however, an indistinguishable adversary prevents him from escaping. Each day, the exhausted man never giving up hope will attempt to make a new, more improved raft, but the sea is vast with wonderful and mysterious creatures and the island's only red turtle won't let the weary survivor escape that easily. Is this the heartless enemy? Written by
Studio Ghibli sent Michael Dudok de Wit an email with two questions: if they could distribute his short film Father and Daughter (2000) in Japan, and if he would make a feature film for them. Dudok de Wit replied answering the first question and saying he did not understand the second, as he was baffled and could not believe it. See more »
The Studio Ghibli logo is red instead of the traditional blue, to honor the title character. See more »
As far as I know this is the first time the illustrious Studio Ghibli has cooperated with a director outside Japan. Still they gave it their trade mark detailed approach to the depiction of nature, and since the whole story is about nature, and about human beings as a part of nature
it counts. What we get is a fable/fairy tale, about a
survivor-castaway getting to a deserted island with no human or other land in sight. And the surprising story of his life following that event. I don't do spoilers, and almost anything I could add would be a spoiler. So I'll limit myself to one more remark - the absence of dialogue works for this movie and in a way make this fantastic story more real. Words seem unnecessary as the story develops.
Though it's animation, it's not exactly made for children, but it could work very well for children viewing it. The auditorium in the Jerusalem Film Festival was packed with children and I didn't hear a single complaint.
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