Artifact Title: Cursed Dreams

Medium: Film

Director: Mami Sunada

Film Title: Yume to kyoki no ōkoku (The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness)

Publisher: GKIDS

Year: 2013

Film length: 118 minutes

Image Credit: Film stills from YouTube, Hayao Miyazaki about dreams

TERA Curator: Judith Ellen Brunton

Cursed Dreams

Filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki philosophizes throughout his films about human/nature relationships and what he perceives as the “cursed dreams” of human innovation and technology. This lament places the beauty and inspiration of human creation against the way this potential gets shaped by profit motives and war. He reflects on this theme broadly in the documentary film The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness directed by Mami Sunada. In a Paris Review article, scholar of Japanese literature Susan Napier reflects on the same theme with respect to Miyazaki’s film Princess Mononoke, saying “At its most fundamental level the movie asks: Can we live ethically in a cursed world? And if so, how?”