Boston Film Critics Spring For ‘12 Years A Slave’ As Dissenter Lobbies Against WWII-Set Miyazaki Toon ‘The Wind Rises’

The Boston Society of Film Critics went big for Steve McQueen‘s slavery drama 12 Years A Slave today, awarding the Fox Searchlight Oscar contender three end-of-year awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (for Chiwetel Ejiofor), and Best Director. Meanwhile, Best Animated Film honors went to Hayao Miyazaki‘s acclaimed WWII-era love story The Wind Rises – but not without vocal opposition from Village Voice critic Inkoo Kang. “Miyazaki’s film is wholly symptomatic of Japan’s postwar attitude toward its history, which is an acknowledgement of the terribleness of war and a willful refusal to acknowledge its country’s role in that terribleness,” read a portion of a statement Kang recited aloud during the vote. “To me, the fact that the film glosses over the true purpose of those planes — and never mentions the fact that those planes were built by Chinese and Korean slave labor — is morally egregious.” The film has earned vocal criticism within Japan for romanticizing the nation’s war industry during WWII. Kang explained to Deadline why she took a public stand against the pic, which is also eyeing the Oscars: “I decided to give the speech at the Boston Society of Film Critics meeting because I felt that too few American critics lent sufficient consideration to the glaring moral blind spots in Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises. The film shouldn’t just be viewed as a harmless portrait of an idealist, but in the context of a postwar mainstream Japanese culture that refuses to examine — and in some egregious cases, admit to — its war crimes.” Check out the 2013 Boston film critics winners below. (more…)

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