In his beautifully made animated film "The Wind Rises" based loosely on the life of the Japanese aircraft designer Jiro Horikoshi, director Hayao Myazaki explores moral dilemmas and experience friendship and love, success and heartbreak.
Inspired by the Italian airplane designer Gianni Caproni, the young Jiro who is obsessed with flying but too near-sighted to become a pilot dreams of becoming an aeronautical engineer. He leaves his home in the provinces and goes to Tokyo for his studies. On a dramatic train-journey he meets Nahoko, the elusive love of his life. In 1927 Jiro joins Mitsubishi Motors where he embarks on his dream-career as an aeronautical engineer. Against the background of major historical events of the first half of the 20th century, Jiro will face moral dilemmas and experience friendship and love, success and heartbreak.
Based loosely on the life of the Japanese aircraft designer Jiro Horikoshi, Myazaki explores childhood dreams and the use of talent and creativity to help advance questionable ends. In doing so he is not afraid to make use European literary references such as the French poet Paul Valéry (“the wind rises, we must try to live”) and the German author Thomas Mann (The Magic Mountain).
Myazaki’s film is visually stunning and beautifully made with dream sequences and beautiful Japanese landscapes softening the dark visual impact of design offices and aircraft hangars.
“The Wind Rises” is an intelligent and beautifully made historical drama that is worth a trip to the cinema, even for those who would not normally go to see an animated film.