Global Warming And Environmental Degradation: Princess Monoke By Hayao Miyazaki

1152 words - 5 pages

In the wake of global warming and environmental degradation, many media outlets are focusing on ways to alert the public to sustain the planet. In “Princess Mononoke,” the film aesthetically creates a complex socio-cultural world in where the audience is force to weigh in on complex questions about our nature and how we treat the planet. The film follows Ashitaka as he journeys from his home village to western Japan to find answers to his impending doom. His quest soon leads him to the industrious fort of “Irontown,” and he finds himself the middle of a deadly battle between humans and spirits. “Princess Mononoke” depicts a sublime story of a devastating war on humans against nature and challenges the audience to find the real-world application in it.
Princess Mononoke setting highlights evolving social conquests and how it affects the environment. The film takes place during around 15th century mythical Japan and most of the populace is rural and industry is just starting to proliferate. The film depicts the duality of humanity as pre and post industrial. For instance, The Emishi village represents the pre-industrial age of Japan that is against the modern age of consumerism and globalization. The villagers live in a sustainable manner in which they utilize the resources around them. However, Irontown is an industrious fort clouded with the smog of greed and money. In Irontown, Humanity is depicted as famish, power hungry beasts that have a voracious appetite for resources. The Emishi village has grown to live one with the spirits while, Irontown is hell bent to bend the forces of nature to their will for precious natural resources. What Irontown can gain from defeating the forest spirit would be to conquer the land from other invaders; however, they have the potential to lose the same thing they are trying to work on, which is the forest itself. The realistic depiction of pre and postindustrial humans highlights our treatment to nature throughout the years and how our actions could lead to our demise.
Miyazaki carefully crafts each protagonist to have faults and redeemable qualities, more than just an Archetype, which gives the audience more of a realistic approach to everyday environmental issues. For instance, Lady Eboshi is responsible for shooting the Nagy and driving him to transform into a demon. While her actions to set out to take over the forest for its natural resources and decimate the spirits Gods seem as environmentally evil. However, “her compassion for her workers is evident in scenes in which she enters a room of leepers to converse with them as people rather than treating them as outcasts,” (28). In addition, Lady Eboshi has built this fort as a second chance for these impoverished people some of them being former prostitutes. Eboshi has given them a purpose, a community for that reason she is revered as a saint in Irontown. Her character challenges the audience to see the complexities of her and not too hastily condemn her...

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