Celebrated Japanese filmmaker Makoto Shinkai says his anime feature "Weathering With You", about two star-crossed teenage lovers living in the rain-drenched Tokyo, deals with the gravity of climate change without being too political.
The film has broken box office records in Japan, including the ones set by Shinkai's previous film, body-switch drama "Your Name". It is also the country's official entry for the Best International Feature category at the Oscars.
The story revolves around a runaway high school student, Hodaka, who lands in Tokyo, which is gloomy and rainy every day. One day, he ends up helping a girl, Hina, on a busy street corner. Hodaka comes to know that Hina possesses the power to stop the rain and clear the sky but this comes with a personal cost to her.
Shinkai said he always tries to contribute in making the world a better place through his cinema.
"We all have our spaces; you will not find me sending out a message in the way 'The Inconvenient Truth' does. There are different ways to convey a message. My movies don't have a political message because I want to keep away from politics.
"However, the message that we want to convey through the film is that climate change impacts everybody, there's no one who can say, I'm untouched by that'. I'm trying to make the world a little better in my own way. If I can drive that point home, then I've done a little bit of what my responsibility is as a world citizen, Shinkai told PTI in an interview.
The 46-year-old director, who was in national capital in October to attend the premiere of his film, organised by PVR, said he feels strongly about the unpredictable weather patterns across the world and that's something people should start thinking about.
"We are in an age where there are certain natural disasters where we don't know what will happen next season. Twenty-thirty years ago, we knew the natural rhythm of every cycle. Next season was not something to worry about.
But now we're in an age where every season brings some sort of a worry about what kind of natural disaster it can trigger. This is something that we need to think about, he added.
Asked why his movies often revolve around teenagers, the director said it was an conscious effort on his part to feature young adults.
"I find that when we are in our teen years, that is a time when fiction is a very powerful tool for something that we here in fiction can actually change the way we think or change the way we want to live our life in the future. So I want to aim my movies at young adults as people still in their teens would want to watch these movies and may be understand the message.
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