What better way to open the 41st BIFFF than with a teenage girl jumping from one dimension to the next, trying to save the world from impending doom alongside a magical cat and a talking three-legged chair? That teenager is Suzume, a seemingly ordinary high-schooler who on her way to class meets a strange fellow, Souta, who is looking for a door in some close-by ruins. She decides to follow him and she actually manages to stumble upon the door first. It’s a mysterious stand-alone door in the middle of nowhere. Tempted to open it, she unleashes unspeakable evil upon the world in the form of a radioactive cloud-like cosmic creature called the Worm that sprinkles disaster and misery wherever it goes. Cause you see, that door wasn’t just an ordinary door but a portal to other worlds. Luckily, Suzume isn’t an ordinary teenager either. She’s the Chosen One, destined to protect nature and humanity against all sorts of evil entities – the Worm has a couple of buddies – by jumping from one portal to the next. And like we said, alongside a magical cat and a chair skilled in demon ass-kicking. After his break-through YOUR NAME and WEATHERING WITH YOU, Makoto Shinkai was quickly labeled as Hayao Miyazaki’s heir. And sure, they both share a sense of childlike wonder, but Shinkai is a bit more unhinged. Proof: this new sci-fi supernatural disaster movie that succeeds in marrying cosmic dimension-jumping demon-slaying with an emotional coming-of-age story. The film grossed 107 million in its native Japan, then competed in Berlin’s official selection and now it opens the BIFFF in a parallel universe close to you.

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