`Hymn to the Zero' seen as warning for Japan
Hayao Miyazaki's new film is already a box office hit but its themes about the dangers of nationalism and war have set up the Oscar- winning animator for unprecedented criticism.
The Wind Rises, which debuted at the top of the Japanese box office last month and has a competition slot at the upcoming Venice Film Festival, is based on the man who designed Japan's feared Zero fighter plane used in World War II.
Commentators see it as a veiled warning that Japan may again be heading in a similar direction. Miyazaki, 72, emphasized that warning in a scathing essay in mid-July about proposals by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to revise Japan's pacifist constitution.
"The time shown in the movie resembles the present," said film commentator Ryusuke Hikawa, referring to the 1923 earthquake that devastated Tokyo and the 1930s Great Depression - parallels to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and Japan's long-stagnant economy.
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`Hymn to the Zero' seen as warning for Japan, Abney Associat