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the_wind_risesHayao Miyazaki’s new film is a fictional adaptation of the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the famous zero fighter airplane (Mitsubishi A6M zero) used in WWII.

Even since Jiro was a little boy he was dreaming of flying. But he could never be a pilot himself since he was near-sighted, instead he would become an airplane designer. He often dreamed about flying and in his dreams appeared Gianni Caproni, a famous Italian engineer and aircraft designer whose company manufactured aircrafts which were used in WWI. Caproni on one hand inspired Jiro and on the other soothed his doubts about his creations’ fate.

During a train trip Jiro meets a young girl named Nahoko. A few years later they meet by chance again. Nahoko is infected with tuberculosis but her infection won’t stop Jiro’s feelings for her. Nahoko’s story is influenced by Hori Tatsuo’s novel “The wind has risen” whose own title is a quote from a poem by by  French poet Paul Valery.

Following the lives of Jiro and Nahoko we also watch some important historical events. Beginning from the Taisho Era (also known as Taisho democracy) to the Showa Era (a period that included Japan’s participation in WWII) we see the effect of the Great Depression in the 1920s, the tuberculosis epidemic, the Great Kanto earthquake of September 1st, 1923 (with 7.9 to 8.4 magnitude on the Richter scale, it was the most destructive earthquake of modern time killing more than 140.000 people). These events affected not only the choices of Jiro and Nahoko but also the beliefs and choices of a whole nation.

Hayao Miyazaki’s father was a director of “Miyazaki Airplane” a manufacturing company which made rudders for the A6M zero fighter planes during WWII. Also his mother suffered from spinal tuberculosis. Finally, Miyazaki’s studio is named after the “Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli”, an italian aircraft used in WWII. So, it appears that Miyazaki’s last film is his most personal, and perhaps the one that could present him with a farewell Oscar.

Genre: Animation, Drama, Romance

Starring (voices): Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elijah Wood, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Jennifer Grey, John Krasinski

Director: Hayao Miyazaki (known for: “Princess Mononoke” (1997), “Spirited Away” (2001), “Ponyo” (2008) and “The Secret World of Arrietty” (2010))

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki

Music by: Joe Hisaishi

Language: English (dubbed)

Release Date: February 21, 2014 (USA)

CinemaFriend’s Trailer Rating:
Trailer Scene selection:

Trailer Music: 9/10

Total: 9/10

For more info you can visit the official movie site.