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Directed by Walter Murch

United Kingdom, United States 1985 113 mins.

Often seen as too frightening to be a children’s film, Walter Murch’s 1985 Return To Oz picks up the Oz story was left off, with Dorothy (a young Fairuza Balk) back in Kansas; after evading (or not) the horror that was early 20th century electroshock therapy she makes it back to Oz only to find that the Emerald City is yet again in trouble.  With some fairly disturbing stop-motion monsters (courtesy of Oregon’s own Will Vinton Studios), the varied disembodied heads of Queen Mombi, alternately-cute-and-creepy supporting characters, (and did we already mention the electroshock therapy?), an argument could be made that the point of the film was just to instill nightmares in young viewers, but it’s worth returning to for Fairuza Balk’s commanding performance if not to disperse any lingering nostalgia boogeymen.  

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.