Japan’s fantasy films act as a buffer against the reality of the natural world
In September 2008, Hayao Miyazaki, the author of Spirited Away, attended the Venice festival to present his most recent full-length film, Ponyo.
In this city so closely connected with the sea, the Japanese director explained why he chose to end the film with a tsunami, and why the Japanese celebrate nature in spite of its destructive power.
“There are many typhoons and earthquakes in Japan,” he said. “There is no point in portraying these natural disasters as evil events. They are one of the givens in the world in which we live.”
“I am always moved when I visit Venice to see that in this city which is sinking into the sea, people carry on living regardless. It is one of the givens of their life. In the same way people in Japan have a different perception of natural disasters.”