Words: Leigh Price
What is Suzume about?
A high school girl ends up on a journey across Japan after meeting a mysterious man and encountering a creature that causes earthquakes emerging from a strange door.
Suzume Iwato is a girl living in a small town in the Kyushu region. After giving directions to a man looking for an abandoned resort, she follows him and finds a door standing on its own. After opening it, she sees a starlit field and encounters a strange cat. Shortly afterwards, a worm-like creature emerges from the door and causes an earthquake to hit the town.
Suzume then meets with the man, who introduces himself as Souta. He explains that he travels the country closing these doors to prevent disasters such as this. The cat reappears and turns him into a chair, leaving Suzume to figure out what to do next.
This marks the start of a journey across Japan to close more of these doors, find the cat and return Souta to his human form.
Why we chose Suzume
Makoko Shinkai has fast become one of Japan’s most prominent anime directors in recent years. His brand of supernaturally tinged tales of unrequited romance and natural disasters have captured the imaginations of viewers across the world. His three most recent movies have become some of the best-selling Japanese movies both domestically and internationally.
Suzume is his most recent work, which has been seeing huge success in cinemas since its release in December 2022.
Despite how recent it is, it has rapidly become the fourth highest-grossing Japanese movie of all time, sitting just behind Your Name. It’s also received great critical acclaim domestically and globally, being nominated for Animation of the Year from the Japan Academy.
While its long-term impact remains to be seen, it is still a superb movie. It contains the same gorgeous visuals and loveable character seen in Shinkai’s other works, and its direct nods to a few real-life tragedies are a gut punch. It’s a personal favourite behind the scenes here at the festival too.
Where can I see Suzume?
Your Name | 112 minutes | 12A | Mockingbird Cinema, Screen 1 | Saturday 30th September 2023, 21:00
If you like this, consider Your Name(PG)
his breakout work, Your Name.
Your Name features two high school students whose lives are shaken up when they start switching bodies, seemingly at random. They steadily build a bond over a great distance as they figure out what’s happening to them, until an unexpected complication threatens to change everything.
Your Name | 104 minutes | U | Mockingbird Cinema, Screen 1 | Saturday 30th September 2023, 16:30
Due to how recently Suzume was released (it released for cinema in the UK in April 2023) it currently has no home release. So currently your best bet to see Makoto Shinkai’s latest work is attending our screening on 30th September!
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