Some of the most successful Japanese films to arrive in American cinemas come straight out of Studio Ghibli, the home of director Hayao Miyazaki. Part of the reason for that has to be Ghibli’s partnering with Disney as their US distributor. While the studio briefly flirted with a smaller distributor, they’ve returned to the mouse house for their latest Miyazaki film, The Wind Rises.
The Wind Rises tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the Zero fighter plane that became central to Japanese air warfare in World War II. The film received some criticism in Japan for its anti-war sentiments, with Miyazaki commenting that Japan “fought a truly stupid war.” He further drew parallels between the current economic and political situation of contemporary Japan, and the circumstances of pre-War Japan. Further criticism came from an essay Miyazaki wrote to accompany the film, criticizing efforts to amend the Japanese constitution to allow for a standing military force.
It will be interesting to see how The Wind Rises plays in America, given our own fraught relationship with Japan (and particularly the Japanese airforce) over the years. With a major distributor like Disney now behind it, we can hope to actually see this film in cinemas after it premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival in the next few weeks.
There’s no actual US release date for The Wind Rises just yet, but we’ll keep an eye out as it develops.
You can check out the gorgeous (and subtitled) trailer for The Wind Rises below. It looks like yet another fascinating film from Hayao Miyazaki and his team. I only hope that we get to see it in America before long.