Film Analysis: Pan’s Labyrinth

with Jacqueline Langley, PhD


Pan's Labyrinth

Winner of three Oscars, with another 63 international wins & 57 nominations, Pan’s Labyrinth is described by one critic as “an epic, poetic vision in which the grim realities of war are matched and mirrored by a descent into an underworld populated by fearsomely beautiful monsters.” Set in civil war-torn Spain, young Ofelia enters a world of unimaginable cruelty when along with her pregnant mother, moves in with her new stepfather, a tyrannical military officer. Retreating from reality into her own imagination, Ofelia discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself and her ailing mother. But soon these imaginative escapes begin to blur the lines of experience, as Ofelia finds herself at the tipping point in a vivid battle between the whimsical and the nightmarish; between good and evil.