Pan's Labyrinth ★★★★

This is such an emotional film, the way it moves effortlessly between reality and fantasy, and creates parallels between the two.

The horrific realities the characters are dealing with under Franco's fascism in 1944 are contrasted so compellingly with the way that the child protagonist, Ofelia, escapes into her fantasies to try to work through similar issues via the stories in her mind.

Actually, that's the very purpose of fairy tales, accordingly to Bettelheim.

The fantasy element of this film also tells us that there is beauty and justice in the real world - even in times of war and injustice - if we look for it, if we allow the cross-overs.

Indeed, Del Toro's humanist message is powerful and this movie holds up well. I enjoyed rewatching it.

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