This month Studio Ghibli Fest brings us Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
In truth, I only remember seeing this once at my cousin’s house. They were a house with four girls, whose ages spanned from just younger to just older than my sister and I. We all enjoyed the movie and talked about the Ohm, and whether we wanted to live in the peaceful Valley of the Wind.
The world of Nausicaä is post-apocalyptic. Technology and knowledge of the Earth are mostly lost, and people have returned to a way of life that is about survival. However, this post-apocalyptic landscape is the creation of humans. At the time when the film was produced, people were waking up to the effects of pollution and how we struggle to live in a way that is balanced with nature, and the same issues feel all the more important now. The characters are caught in a struggle to either try to survive The Sea of Destruction, which is, in fact, a vast forest of toxic spores and fungus or to burn and remove the last of the forests on Earth.
My favorite character in this harsh world is Nausicaä. Her compassion and courage inspire and empower the people around her and her actions are a shining example of what that combination can lead to. At a glance, it seems impossible and disturbing how casual some characters are about hurting creatures and nature, but after reflecting on it a bit, it’s no different than real life. I wish that the movie would inspire a new generation of young people to care about the environment.
The film was presented on the theater’s 4k digital projectors with subtitles and looked great. There were little to no noticeable film grains, and the colors were smooth. Studio Ghibli seems to set a new standard with their animation with every film. I’m loving Ghibli Fest and as this year’s event is coming to close I’m wondering what next year may bring.