“Grave of the Fireflies” (1988) is an animated film telling the story of two children from the port city of Kobe, made homeless by the bombs. Seita is a young teenager, and his sister Setsuko is about 5. Their father is serving in the Japanese navy, and their mother is a bomb victim; Seita kneels beside her body, covered with burns, in an emergency hospital. Their home, neighbors, schools are all gone. For a time an aunt takes them in, but she’s cruel about the need to feed them, and eventually Seita finds a hillside cave where they can live. He does what he can to find food, and to answer Setsuko’s questions about their parents. The first shot of the film shows Seita dead in a subway station, and so wecan guess Setsuko’s fate; we are accompanied through flashbacks by the boy’s spirit.”
“September 21st, 1945… That was the night I died.” – Seita
A great movie that would tear your heart in sympathy and compassion.
The story simply tells us about the survival of siblings from waning days of World War II where American aircraft dropped bombs on Japanese cities. The film features an outstanding direction in portraying the impact of war, the state of survival and of course with a captivating animation and voice performance.
Grave of the Fireflies‘ message is relevant to what is happening in our world right now, how the horrors of war condemned us and demoralizing humanity. On the other side, it proves that even if you have nothing else left, you can always find ways to be happy as long as you are with the right people.