The Wind Rises
Studio Ghibli is best known for its fantastical adventure stories, but in this week’s film we take a look at something different from them, as they dramatize the life of an influential Japanese airplane designer (with a good deal of artistic license).
Jiro grows up dreaming of becoming a pilot, but his poor eyesight and need for glasses make such a dream impossible. Still, he’s obsessed with aviation, and so becomes an engineer instead, helping to research and design new airplanes. But when Japan enters World War II and Jiro finds himself designing military aircraft, he’s torn between his love for watching his designs take flight, and knowing that he’s effectively creating weapons of war.
Meanwhile, he’s fallen in love with a young woman whom he soon realizes is terminally ill, and must balance his work with trying to enjoy and appreciate his limited time with her.
The film explores the difficulties of pursuing your passions and developing your talents amid the inevitable troubles and tragedies of life, ultimately encouraging us to keep our imagination flying and our love alive.
Although full of Studio Ghibli’s usual vibrant colors and charming character designs, the film also features some darker dramatic material; it is rated PG-13 and more appropriate for older viewers.