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The Boy and the Heron film image

The Boy and the Heron

Kimitachi wa Do Ikiruka

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It’s a decade since Hayao Miyazaki last made a feature and there probably isn’t another filmmaker whose return from retirement would elicit greater excitement. The man who gave us Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbour Totoro… Who co-founded the legendary Studio Ghibli… He’s back with the story of a young boy, Mahito, growing up in Japan during WWII, who meets a talking heron and must venture into a fantasy world in order to save his new stepmother.

Released in Japan without promotional fanfare this summer under the title How Do You Live, Miyazaki’s movie instantly became Ghibli’s biggest ever box office smash. Commentators were quick to point out that the film has several parallels with the filmmaker’s story: like Mahito, Miyazaki was born in 1941, his father worked in an airplane factory, and the family moved to the countryside after the fire bombing of Tokyo. Meanwhile the supernatural elements echo and reflect his recurring obsessions in configurations that will surprise and delight fans new and old. At 82, Miyazaki himself is still defiantly young at heart.

A film that somehow plays as both a child’s heroic journey and an old man’s wistful goodbye at the same time, a dream-like vision that reasserts Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s voice and international relevance. It’s gorgeous, ruminative, and mesmerizing, one of the best of 2023.

Brian Tallerico,

It left me intellectually and aesthetically dazzled, and profoundly grateful for this late-life glimpse into the autobiography of one of film’s great living artists.

Dana Stevens, Slate

How fortunate it is to be around now that animation’s greatest alchemist has gifted us his most personal spell yet.

Carlos Aguilar, The Playlist


Hayao Miyazaki

Country of Origin





In Japanese with English subtitles


Academy Award, Best Animated Feature

Content Warning



Open to youth!

124 min
Studio Ghibli

Book Tickets

Saturday April 27

2:30 pm
Hearing Assistance Subtitles U18 May Attend
VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre
Book now Limited availability



Toshio Suzuki


Hayao Miyazaki

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