Surrounded by the immense and furious ocean, a shipwrecked mariner battles for his life against the relentless, towering waves. Right on the brink of his demise, the man washes ashore on a small and deserted tropical island of sandy beaches, timid animal inhabitants and a slender but gracefully swaying bamboo forest. The stranded sailor builds a raft and sets off to sea. However, something prevents him from escaping. Each day, the man attempts to make a new and improved raft, but the island’s only red turtle won’t let him escape.

Any true fan of animation will tell you that there is one film studio that is head and shoulders above the rest, and it’s not Disney or Pixar. It’s Studio Ghibli. Following masterpieces such as My neighbor Totoro, Grave of the fireflies and Spirited away, The red turtle is Studio Ghibli’s first collaboration with Dutch filmmaker Dudok de Wit. De Wit wrote: “I hoped to convey my deep love for nature: for the beauty of light and shadow, the special ambience of warm nights and rainy forests, and the naturalness of death and birth.”

It’s a film without dialogue, instead relying on the animation, score and characters. It may seem overambitious to expect a room full of young people to watch this in silence throughout, but The red turtle will captivate all those who experience it.

This clip focuses on the man as he makes another attempt to sail away from the island. Having been thwarted before, he tries once more in an even more impressive craft. Once he’s away from the island, however, he discovers that a red turtle has been stopping him. Back on the island, it appears that the man kills the turtle. 


  • If you were washed up on a desert island, what would your plan of action be?
  • What emotions do you think the man experiences in the clip?
  • What do you think the moral of this part of the story is?
  • Do you agree with the action of the man? Is it ever right to kill another living creature?

Read Jeremiah 15 together (it would be beneficial to explore the context of the passage first. If short on time, focus on verses 11 to 18). After reading the passage, explore the following questions:

  • What sort of God is described in this passage? Does it sound like the traditional Christian God?
  • How is the author of this passage feeling? What verses in particular highlight his feelings?
  • In times of isolation and torment, how do verses 19 onwards provide reassurance?
  • Jeremiah seems pretty unhappy about his current situation (verses 10 onwards). Why would he put himself through such hardship and pain?