Miyazaki Hayao’s movies have something that always kind of touched on something within me. Sure, there are the recurrent themes of heroism (especially femminism, I find) but the thing that he gets, and presents a way that I find simultaneously captivating and terrifying, is the theme of corruption.
In pretty much every Miyazaki film I’ve ever seen, there’s a character that somewhere makes a turn, and becomes something evil, something whose presence is just disturbing. And it’s never a total evil– it’s the kind of evil that reflects our human nature, in that it’s flip floppy. You have good characters who become corrupt, and corrupt characters who are redeemed.
I’m mostly of the opinion that in actuality it’s the greyness of real life that’s scary, in that it’s not black and white. Things that are black and white are easy, because they’re predictable and obvious. But in the grey areas, there is room for surprise, there is room for betrayal.
Take the idea of a terrorist. Doesn’t that sound extreme? In reality, it’s not the extremism that bothers us– it’s the conceptual grey area that comes with our reaction to it. Who do we hunt down to make the terrorism stop? What methods can we use? And in so using these methods, is it possible that we cross the line and lose the very humanity we think we’re protecting?
Or is the point of the whole exercise to have what Milton calls a “happy fall?”
Maybe it is better to live scrambling for a life and maybe a chance of dominion in the Grey World, even through all the strife and hardship, because it is only in the Grey World that we find reasons to ever protect and to love.
Or would you give it up to live a perfect life, Black or White?