Film Reviews, Short Review

風立ちぬ [The Wind Rises] (2013)

3.5/4

Hayao Miyazaki’s last film (for now; I suspect he may be back in some capacity at some point, as such artists never truly retire) is also his furthest away from fantasy, based instead in the real world, a loose biopic of Japanese aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, who designed fighter planes for the Japanese army in the WWII. There are flaws here—after an entire career of strong female protagonists, it’s a shame Miyazaki relegates his main female character here to a ‘sacrificial wife’ role—but The Wind Rises is also his most personally revealing film. Critics who accuse the film of airbrushing Japan’s military history are slightly missing the point (are we that stupid as audiences that a film needs to tell us for certain that fascism sucks?); what we have instead is the work of an artist musing on the destructive capabilities of creation, when such desires overtake almost all other considerations.

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