France / Spain, 2016 (MIFF 2017, International,Europe)

Director: Ado Arrietta


The classic fairytale gets an anachronistically modern make-over in underground master Adolfo Arrietta's first narrative feature in over two decades.

It's the year 2000, and Prince Egon (Niels Schneider, a MIFF guest in 2011) is the heir to the throne of Letonia. A wannabe musician, he spends his time drumming, smoking and checking his phone until one day, during a flying lesson, Egon's tutor tells the prince about the nearby Kingdom of Kentz. Specifically, about the somniferous curse that befell it 100 years ago when its princess pricked her finger on a spindle.

Cutting between 2000 and 1900, Arrietta weaves a suitably dreamlike spell over his audience as he spools out his peculiar take on the tale, which finds Egon enlisting the help of a good fairy, now working for UNESCO as an archaeologist, to rescue the slumbering sovereign. Featuring Serge Bozon (Tip Top, MIFF 2013) and Mathieu Amalric (Le fils de Joseph, MIFF 2016) in supporting roles, Sleeping Beauty is the witty and whimsical, long-awaited vision of a singular filmmaker.

'Drags the Grimm Brothers' time-honoured fairytale right into the present day, but with all the unmistakable poetry and mischief we might expect from the director of Merlín.' – Cineuropa

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