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NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND

Japan, 1984 (MIFF 1997, Mayhem, Magic & Maelstroms - Japanese Animation from Studio Ghibli)

Director: Hayayo Miyazaki

Inspired by a 12th century folk tale about'a princess who could talk to insects, Nausicaa transposes that idea of a human's hypersensitivi­ty to the natural order of life into a futuristic world ravaged by ecological disorder. The future of Nausicaa is one where deadly, microscopic spores (housed in a massive, decayed forest belt, now called the Sea of Corruption) could at any point be carried by winds to devastate further land masses.

Downwind from the Sea of Corruption lies the Valley of the Wind. Nausicaa is the warrior princess of the Valley, a territory whose frail existence is based on wind technologies (show­casing a key Miyazaki design aesthetic of collid­ing old and new technologies). Nausicaa knows well that the decayed state of the world is due to mankind's upsetting nature's order. As a leader of humans, she embodies ethical and political clashes with a maturity, awareness and reserve that far out-stretches her years. Her consequent decisions and actions make for a thrilling and engrossing drama of human conflict.

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