Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
My friend shared the DVD of this movie, with two questions – are you a movie lover and do you see animated movies?. I was puzzled a little with the questions, anyways being a true Indian & someone who never turns down the opportunity to get (borrow) something free, I said “YES” and came home with two DVDs in my hand. One of them was Grave of the Fireflies.
At that time I didn’t know the impact the movie will have on me forever.
Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 Japanese animated war film written and directed by Isao Takahata. Taking place toward the end of World War II in Japan, the story is the tale of two orphaned children, pre-teen Seita and his young sister Setsuko. Their father is in the Japanese navy, and they live comfortably in Kobe despite rationing, but when their mother dies from burns due to an American bombing raid, a distant aunt takes them in — and conflict eventually forces the children to try to survive on their own. The movie is all about their struggle in a war-torn town with no roof to their head or income; their little joyous moments on the beach and with fireflies.
The movie was amazing, as one of the reviews had said: “a must in every list of anti-war movies”. Due to the storyline and brilliance of the Director, you hardly feel it was an animated work with the two main characters especially the young girl portrayed so beautifully. In the last 15 minutes, I couldn’t control the water rolling over my eyes.
The Rotten Tomatoes rating of 96% is less and an 8.4 rating on IMDB is both less, the movie deserves 10/10. A movie that’s a must-watch.