Indiana Jones? These are the movies Hayao Miyazaki from Studio Ghibli hates the most

Indiana Jones?  These are the movies Hayao Miyazaki from Studio Ghibli hates the most

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Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most recognized directors worldwide, works such as Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke have been key to the development of Studio Ghibli, anime and the entertainment industry in general. However, Hollywood cinema has not always been on his side, either because of his political positions or his personal opinions. In the same way, the director has not been shy about showing his disagreement with that side of the industry..

“Anti-jeans, Anti-bourbon, Anti-hamburgers, Anti-fried chicken, Anti-cola, Anti-American coffee, Anti-New York, Anti-West Coast”, Hayao Miyazaki, director of Studio Ghibli, described his beliefs, In an interview. In fact, his work in the entertainment industry against labor exploitation and his contributions to the TOEI Animation workers’ union are recognized.

A young Hayao Miyazaki during a student protest, courtesy of The Making of Only Yesterday

When Miyazaki joined Toei, the union had already won important victories. Anime legend Rintaro had earned 8,000 yen a month shortly after the strike. But Miyazaki earned 18,000 yen a month in his first term as a trainee, and it increased to 19,500 yen after that. “My idea was to go home at five o’clock,” Miyazaki recalled. “I was convinced that staying at work was not good for me as a person”.

Conditions weren’t perfect during Doggie March (its manager worked 230 hours of overtime a month), but it was a start. In 1964, Miyazaki became the union’s general secretary. Although he was intrigued by the student protests in Japan in 1960, he himself had not participated. This was new territory for him. “I was really lost then,” he said. “I had to take responsibility. And I had to fight the old guys who had interviewed me when I was a freshman fresh out of college.” This experience accompanied him throughout his career until the creation of Studio Ghibli..

hayao miyazaki ghibli studio strike strike

Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata on the set of the protest film Horus: Prince of the Sun (courtesy of Joy in Motion)

Miyazaki he was a Marxist with an affinity for Maoist China. (Although he later turned away from Marx and Mao, he has remained strongly progressive.) For this reason, it is not surprising that his political ideals do not fit perfectly with Hollywood cinema.: “Americans film things and blow up and things like that, so, unsurprisingly, they make movies like that. If someone is the enemy, it’s okay to kill countless of them. The Lord of the Rings is like this, if he is the enemy, he kills himself without separation between civilians and soldiers. That falls under collateral damage.”

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Hayao Miyazaki, director of Studio Ghibli, against traditional Hollywood cinema

Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki compares the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq by US forces to what is shown in movies like The Lord of The Rings for the dehumanization they make of enemy forces. His political ideals define his taste in commercial cinema. This, in fact, is an act of congruence with his previous public statements against US military actions.: When Spirited Away became the first anime to win Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, Miyazaki refused to attend the ceremony because he did not want to support America’s actions in the Iraq War..

spirited away hayao miyazaki studio ghibli

Spirited Away, the first anime film to receive an Oscar

Miyazaki, director of Studio Ghibli, was also highly critical of Steven Spielberg’s iconic Indiana Jones film series. By addressing many of the problems caused by capitalism in post-colonial nations, Miyazaki admonished those who failed to recognize the political and racial allegories embedded in the subtexts of supposedly innocent and purely entertaining action movies..

“Even in the Indiana Jones movies, there’s a white guy who, ‘bang’, shoots people, right? The Japanese who agree and enjoy it are incredibly embarrassing. You are the ones who, ‘bang’, got shot [de su parte]. Watch [esas películas] without any self-awareness is unbelievable. There is no pride, there is no historical perspective. You don’t know how a country like the United States sees you.”

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