In Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, Jiro— inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni — dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes.
“A rich treat for the eye and soul alike.” – Mark Kermode, Observer
Nearsighted from a young age and unable to be a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world’s most innovative and accomplished airplane designers. The film chronicles much of his life, depicting key historical events, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan’s plunge into war. Jiro meets and falls in love with Nahoko, and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo. Writer/director Miyazaki here pays tribute to real-life engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in an epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world. Miyazaki has said he was inspired to make this Academy Award-nominated film after reading this quote from Horikoshi: ‘All I wanted to do was to make something beautiful.’ If the celebrated director also had the same goal for this, his supposed final film, he succeeded magnificently. (Dir. by Hayao Miyazaki, 2013, Japan, 127 mins., Rated PG-13)