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Tuesday, 19 February, 2002, 13:01 GMT
Japanese animation at 'dead end'
Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Aawy
Spirited Away: A girl's adventures in a land of gods and goblins
Japanese film director Hayao Miyazaki, whose animated feature Spirited Away has won the Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival, has said that Japanese animation "is facing a dead end".

And he described younger film makers as the "copycat generation".

Why don't people debate what effect this is having on our children?

Hayao Miyazaki
Mr Miyazaki's comments came at a news conference where he said winning the Golden Bear was "like experiencing Christmas and New Year's holidays at the same time".

Mr Miyazaki's film shared the coveted award with Bloody Sunday, directed by Paul Greengrass.

Spirited Away tells the story of a young girl's adventures in a land of goblins and gods.

Ten-year-old Chihiro and her family stumble across a hot spa catering to Japan's eight million gods - and she ends up working as a bath attendant before she is able to escape.

Hayao Miyazaki
Miyazaki: Faces "true dilemma"
Spirited Away has become the biggest grossing Japanese film of all time, with 29.4bn yen (154m) in ticket sales to date.

Despite this success, Mr Miyazaki's comments about the Japanese animation industry were pessimistic.

"I think Japanese animation is facing a dead end," he said.

"I wonder why there are so many films that contain so much violence and feature sexual content.

"I think there is a chance that the spread of Japanese animation overseas might only lead to embarrassment."

James Nesbitt
Bloody Sunday was co-winner of the award
The director even cast doubt on the value of his own films, saying that his work - and animated films in general - could be robbing Japanese children of the time to experience life.

Watching animated films for four or five hours could stifle creativity, he said, describing the situation as "a true dilemma for me".

"People read comics in trains even when they become adults.

"Major newspapers praise the sales achieved by video games.

"Why don't people debate what effect this is having on our children?" asked Mr Miyazaki.

Complete coverage of the latest awards ceremoniesGong shows
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See also:

18 Feb 02 | Film
Bloody Sunday wins Golden Bear
07 Jan 02 | Film
Praise for Bloody Sunday film
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