This is the original Godzilla, released in 1954. It is in Japanese with English subtitles. You don’t need to be fluent in English. Just pay attention to what’s happening.
Why do I want you to watch Godzilla? As we progress through the semester, you’ll find that Godzilla movies often center around environmental topics. In the original film, there are numerous environmental and geographic topics, and I’m curious to see which ones you can identify.
When the original film was released in 1954, Japan was still recovering – socially, culturally, and economically – from World War II. While we often think of Godzilla movies as goofy rubber-suited monsters fighting each other, the original film was a human story that was masked as a monster movie.
Godzilla the monster was a metaphor for nature exacting its revenge, a destructive consequence of human folly.
Culturally, the film was also a way for the Japanese to discuss the War and the atomic bombings they endured. The film was cultural catharsis. There was no intention for Godzilla to become the longest-running movie franchise in history – more than 35 films and animations over 65 years.
So, again, I’m curious to see which themes you identify in the movie.
https://archive.org/details/GODZILLA1954JapaneseVersionHD (Links to an external site.)
You will write a brief essay – four or more quality paragraphs – detailing the environmental and geographic themes of the film.
What do you see? Are there environmental issues demonstrated in the film that we still see today? Where and how is nature depicted in the film? What role does nature play in the film? What geographical factors do you see?
There are no specific correct answers to this. And, I’m not providing you with specific guidance. I want to know what you take away from the film.
However, that doesn’t mean there are not incorrect answers. Be thorough and thoughtful in how you provide your explanations. You’ll be disappointed with your grade if you cut corners or don’t make a solid effort. Paragraphs should be multiple sentences, and should be well-constructed.
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