An excellent feminist film

Found Here (wordpress refuses to embed it…even after I said “please” and “pretty please” and “Just embed it you danged computer!”) This is the 1984 Miyazaki film “Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind” (Patrick Stewart, Mark Hamill, Jodi Benson, Uma Thurman, Shia LaBeouf). Miyazaki is one of the most influential feminist directors in Asia…or really anywhere. His father designed airplanes, and all of Miyazaki’s films have lots of cool airplane action too. Now, Japanese culture benefits from having a tradition of priestesses as well as priests, and Nausicaa is probably the best example of the correct behavior of a priestess or priest (D&C 121:41-43 ” No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;) If you go about 13 minutes in to the film, there is what I think is one of the best illustrations of that scripture in practice,only with a small rodent. I am not a huge fan of Japanese animation. I feel for people who find the japanese sensibility just about three steps too foreign. That being said, I am a fan (just not a huge one.). I lived in Japan in my youth and so the sensibility is a little less foreign (note I said “little”…I still stare kind of glazey-eyed and a little disturbed at Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. I think I’d get it more if I was into Shintoism…and….goop…). This film is no different, in that it’s got some weirdisms, and a carries on the strange Japanese animation fascination with violent, complex bug creatures (I dunno) and mystical environmentalism. It must be remembered that there is a strong Japanese tradition of “We freakin’ LOVE NATURE! Freakin’ LOVE IT”,and “Hey look, a priestess…which is nothing weird at all to us.” and ” Hey look, violence, heavy-handed messages of peace, and death! Now that’s what we call family entertainment!” A lot of the finest feminist film comes from Japanese Animation. As a child I watched Sailor Moon(and therin lies the end of my anime experience…I still think that anime is a magnet for the socially inept…and no matter how I try, I can’t fight the feeling to run, RUN, from being associated with it…sorry)…and I will give you the basics of the plot… Once Upon a Time everyone lived together in a peaceful kingdom in the heavens, as princes and princesses with our loving parent(s?) (only one of whom seems to be mentioned anywhere in the series). Then, one day, there was a great war, which was won by the righteous, and the evil hordes were cast down to earth. THEN…everyone was re-born on Earth with no memory of their previous lives and with the help of their elders, discover their old identities, and gradually gain new talents, responsibilities, tools and powers as they seek to defeat the evil which was cast down to earth. Meanwhile, everyone is searching for the one special person who will save everyone on earth, after which that person will reign as monarch over the entire earth in a peaceful millennium. Sound Familiar? And it gets even better than that, so I hear, with that person being called “Messiah” and having a “Holy Cup”. So just picture Mormonism, but here’s the kicker…all girls. Not just girls, but girls who kick trash! Heavenly Mother, world being saved by her daughter, who then will reign as queen of the earth. This childhood show framed a great deal of what I thought of my place in the gospel was, and what it meant to be a daughter of God, and what kind of a person heavenly mother (Kickin’ trash!) was like, and what kind of a destiny I had. I had even come up in my mind that somehow Beehives, Miamaids, Laurels, as a priestesshood. I had even overheard people talking about “priestesses” in the temple, which made all sorts of sense (no one really cared to mention “priestess to who”…gah.). This was my mormonism. I was a priestess, who would be queen, who would save the world. I even wrote down these little parallels in my fuzzy pink journal in Elementary School. This was my mormonism. I still think it is. What the heck is everyone practicing? lol.

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