When The Wind Blows is a British animated disaster film directed by Jimmy Murakami. The plot of the film revolves around an old married couple James and Hilda (John Mills and Peggy Ashcroft), who are trying to survive a nuclear war by building a bomb shelter in their front room. The film is incredibly dark and has themes of death, disease and hopelessness.
I had to watch this film for one of my University classes, so I didn’t really go in with much expectation, but I have to say this is a hauntingly beautiful film in many ways and it far exceeded my expectations.
The art design for this film is unlike anything I have ever seen before. It switches between different styles of animation quite often with each bringing a significantly different feel. From an artistic viewpoint, colour is used very specifically in this film for a variety of reasons, to show loss and devastation as well as to show hope. This colour symbolism is very on the nose, but it is that way by design, this film knows what it is and knows what its message is, and it wants to be very clear about it. When The Wind Blow is an anti-war film through and through.
This film is from the director of beloved Christmas hit The Snowman, but this is very unlike his previous work. Despite having a low age rating, this film is definitely not suited for kids to watch, it is disturbing and traumatic, but in reality, that is how nuclear war would be. The film ends and if you don’t want spoilers skip ahead, with both of the main characters dying of radiation poisoning, this is incredibly sad, but realistic. This film is almost educational as it shows the effects a nuclear war would have on people as both character get sicker and sicker across the film, it also encourages people to be critical free thinkers and question what they are told: because ultimately a big part of the film is that James believed every word the government said to him and that is what killed him.
Overall, this film won’t be for everyone, it is upsetting and depressing, but it is also important to see because it has a lot to say about war, about society and for that I will say it is a must see!
It is incredibly bleak.