Godzilla vs Me

Watching the movie Godzilla was an unexpected occurrence in my first class for the semester but one that was welcomed with opened arms. I had heard of the Godzilla movie franchise but never watched or read of the movies so had no idea what I was in for. Upon viewing the movie the welcoming feeling I had about watching it quickly changed. That is not saying that I didn’t like the movie as I actually thought it was quite enjoyable but rather that it was deeper than what I thought it would be. The movie had some very confronting scenes and as we are reflecting on it versus our own personal experiences it made me quite upset. These scenes are due to the relationships that can be made between Godzilla and events in Japan’s history.

 

The most obvious relationship of what Godzilla represented was to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in World War two. In the movie the elders are displayed saying that the people need to learn from the past to not let the mistakes that created Godzilla happen again. As Godzilla was created by a nuclear bomb the direct relationship between the monster and nuclear warfare is very clear. It also means that the elders are saying that this type of warfare should never happen again. The images that really hit me relating to this were a burning Tokyo city which is where one of the bombs got dropped in WW2 and the emergency centres filling with young families after Godzilla had attacked which is a common occurrence during times of war.

 

Although if Godzilla was a much more recent movie the beast could also be a representation of nuclear power. This relationship is made due to the Fukushima disaster. The relationship to the Fukushima disaster is very close and parallels include the public and even the people in power not knowing how to deal with the problem / disaster / devastation from Godzilla. The images that hit hard relating to Fukushima to me were again of the overfilled emergency centres with young families as they had nowhere else to go. This was a common site after the Fukushima disaster.

 

Another issue that this films seems to be tackling is Japan’s struggle to work out its identity after WW2. This is due to its change from a military power to a defence force. Although I see this issue is displayed in the movie it is one that I do not know enough about to comment constructively on.

 

Therefore I viewed the film through a lens that allowed me to see the devastation that this nation has faced and then watch it try to work out who it is again. But it is also a devastation that I am yet to experience and hope that I never have to. Historical events that have occurred in Japan in the past and very recent past are ones that I hope we are getting further away from as the world progresses.

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