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Whisper of the Heart film image

Whisper of the Heart

Mimi wo sumaseba

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Something different from Studio Ghibli, this is for the most part an uncannily naturalistic slice of teenage life, a first love story about bookish schoolgirl Shizuku, who becomes absorbed in the mystery of a fellow student whose name appears on the library index card of nearly every volume she checks out. In a parallel, and related, story, a fat cat, Mutu, leads her to the doorstep of an antique shop, and eventually romance blossoms.

This was the only film directed by Yoshifumi Kondo, a Miyazaki protege who died tragically young in 1998. Whisper of the Heart is a worthy testament to his prodigious talent. The film is a realistic yet breathtakingly lovely portrait of modern day Tokyo, and to the stirrings of creativity and love in the young. Miyazaki scripted from a manga by Aoi Hiragi, and also directed a fantasy sequence late in the story. Incidentally, John Denver’s ballad “Take Me Home, Country Roads” never sounded better.

Our matinee family-friendly shows will feature the English-language version, all ages welcome. Evening screenings will play in Japanese with English subtitles.

A beautiful film.

David Jenkins, Time Out

The film also unforgettably repurposes John Denver’s Country Roads, and applies it to everyday Japanese life via a number of covers. If that sounds too good to be true, it’s not. It totally works somehow.

Suzette Smith, The Stranger


Presenting Partner

Media Partner


Yoshifumi Kondo

Country of Origin





Matinee: English

Evening: In Japanese with English subtitles

111 min

Book Tickets

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