Today's Screenshots - Kiki's Delivery Service

The last time I sat down and watched Kiki's Delivery Service was about a year ago. It's a terrific movie, with a certain quiet charm that has always moved me. But this time, it struck particularly close to the bone. I had been unemployed for the better part of a year, and without any real prospects. There's your George Bush "Ownership Society," kids. Worth its weight in mud.

There's a scene early in the film, when Kiki is seated down in a park, lunch in her lap. She's come to this coastal town, in search for a new home during her apprenticeship. However, her friendly overtures are largely met with puzzlement, indifference, or outright hostility. So Kiki sits in the park, all alone and without any ticket out.

And it's this moment, this quiet pause when Miyazaki focuses on the girl's islolation and lonliness, that strikes me in the face. The feeling that you're out of ideas, and out of luck. Nowhere to turn. No way out. What happens now? I hear in my head the dying words of Horus' father: "Go to your people."

"Where? Where are my people?! Who are my people?!"

It's that emotional honesty that Miyazaki brings to the teenage coming-of-age story; the sentiments of someone who grew up after the end of World War II, devestated by its aftermath. Kiki in the park, without a friend, spooked by the cops, she's just like John Wayne in the doorway at the end of The Searchers: pensive, uncertain, unsure where to go, unsure where to fit in.

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