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140 Ratings


Directed by Ann Turner
Australia, 1989
Drama, Fantasy, Horror


An imaginative and somewhat disturbed young girl fantasizes about evil creatures and other oddities to mask her insecurities while growing up in rural Australia.

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Celia Directed by Ann Turner

Critics reviews

Brilliant, dark and singular in its vision, Ann Turner’s Celia remains one of the most fascinating and visceral films about girlhood… I still find it wholly distinctive and more deliciously ambiguous than the two films it was compared with at the time – Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows and Peter Brook’s The Lord of the Flies.
September 07, 2015

What are people saying?

  • Adam Whybray's rating of the film Celia

    4.5 stars. So very heartening to be excited by a film again. One of the most emotionally intelligent examinations of morality that it has been my privilege to watch. Recognises that any system of justice is a [socially sanctioned] magic ritual. Celia's acts of violence are revolutionary stagings of political dissidence, which is why the film's only mis-step **SPOILER WARNING** is that she leaves the dog to die.

  • Imelda Says's rating of the film Celia

    In the adult world, the anti-communist witch hunts are as bizarre and hysterical as the war on rabbit vermin, which draws on a similar nationalistic polemic. In the children's world we see the crude seeds of the adult - territory, loyalty, honour, betrayal, cruelty, revenge, superstition, amoral self-preservation, profound love, friendship and bloodshed. Celia the meeting place of all things, good and bad.

  • Dark Helmet's rating of the film Celia

    Exactly the sort of film I would never discover without Mubi - Rebecca Smart's performance as Celia is incredible and there are some really nice directorial touches throughout.

  • Draughtsman Without Contract's rating of the film Celia

    Heavens to Murgatroyd! I loved this when I saw it 25 years ago and it clearly made a major impression (certainly the neighbour Alice Tanner did about whom I recall having a definite thing) because I seem to remember every scene vividly. A powerful, imaginative, entrancing and thoroughly engrossing evocation of childhood and a child's impression of the mysterious goings on in the adult world.

  • captainbert's rating of the film Celia

    Magically weird and wonderful flick which oozes in originality as it depicts life through the eyes of a nine year old girl. The performance of Rebecca Smart as the young girl is absolutely superb and for me i would rather this flick any day over Pans Labyrinth.

  • Renton47's rating of the film Celia

    Celia, somehow, feels like a revolutionary text. Perhaps it's the link it vividly draws between the scapegoating of "invasive species" (still resonating), perhaps because the emotional lives of children aren't rendered innocent enough to warrant corruption. The casual violence of the adult world infiltrates the magic realm of children, and the sanctimony of government will (still) reap its own dissent. 4.5

  • Ashley Spendlove's rating of the film Celia

    An uneven but truly unusual genre-defying gem which works at many levels. Turner conveys brilliantly how the dysfunction and barely concealed violence of the adult world unleashes violent disturbance in the children. She raises questions around sexual inequality, politics, social conformity and scapegoating, all seen through the eyes of a sensitive young girl with whom we empathise even as she loses her innocence.

  • Thornehawk's rating of the film Celia

    Mubi can be a bit hit and miss. And this is definitely a miss! The children are extremely irritating. In fact all the characters are, and the communist thing has been done much, much better many times before. Don´t waste your time with this one.

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