The Red Turtle

The film was co-produced by Studio Ghibli and Wild Bunch. Wild Bunch approached the Dutch animator Dudok de Wit in London and convinced him to take on the project. The screenplay was written by Dudok de Wit.

Before the movie Check the lecture on Studio Ghibli & Michael Dudok de Wit in Antartica at 10:00.

A nameless man set adrift by a storm wakes up on a deserted island. The man finds that the island is rich in resources, finding fresh fruit and water as well as a variety of small animals and a dense bamboo forest, and prepares to leave the island. The man builds a raft from bamboo, and attempts to sail away. However, an unseen sea creature destroys the raft, forcing the man back to the island. Attempting to escape with another raft, his plan is foiled again by the sea creature. Trying a third time his raft is again destroyed, but once in the water he finds a red turtle facing him. The turtle does not harm the man, and the man retreats back to the island.

That evening, the man sees the red turtle crawling on the shore, attempting to go inland. In revenge, he hits the red turtle on the head with a bamboo stick, and pushes it over on its back. After halfway through building another raft, the man starts to feel remorse about leaving the turtle upside down and tries to save the turtle by flipping it over but it's too heavy. He desperately runs to get some water to revive the turtle but realizes that it's dead, and falls asleep next to it. The turtle's shell splits down the middle during the night and to the man's surprise, he sees a woman lying inside of the turtle shell. The man tries to revive her, making a shelter over her to protect her from the sun. When rain hits the island, the woman wakes up. The man notices she has gone, and searches the island for her, finally seeing that she is on the coastline. Giving her his shirt, he eventually sees the woman is wearing his shirt, but she is dragging the now empty turtle shell into the sea and setting it off. The man does the same with his half-built raft. The two soon form a strong and enduring romance.

Some years later, the couple has a son who is a curious boy who finds a glass bottle and learns about his origin. After accidentally falling into a small cavern, the son learns to swim on his own and forms a peculiar relationship with other turtles in the ocean. Growing up, the son grows accustomed to the island. When he goes into the island for fresh water with his bottle, a tsunami hits the island. Though no one is severely hurt, the island's forest is nearly demolished by it. After cleaning up the island and burning the remains of bamboo, the son has a dream of swimming away from the island. He tells his parents that it's time for him to leave their nest as a sign of his growth into full adulthood and he swims away with a trio of green turtles.

The man and the woman spend the rest of their lives on the island, growing old but still much in love with one another. One night the man sees the moon over the ocean for the final time and closes his eyes as the woman immediately realizes his sudden passing and grieves deeply. The next morning she lies next to him with deep sadness, holds the man's hand one last time, and then transforms back into the red turtle and returns to the sea.



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Saturday 11:40 - 13:00

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