Film: Grave of the fireflies
Genre: Animated War Film
Direction: Isao Takahata
Animation: Studio Ghibli
Grave of the fireflies released in the April of 1988 and was based on the life of a brother and a sister who fight against all odds to survive the ramshackle effects of the Second World War. It comes under the most emotional animated films of all time and there is not one person in the entire world who can watch this film without feeling a huge lump in their heart.
Even though Grave of the Fireflies was made in the 80’s, it can make the people of this generation cry just as much. Has the world not changed even after 28 years? Well, the sad truth is that it has become much worse and now we are facing a War that is not planned and can wipe out lives in the blink of an eye. One which is more deadlier and unpredictable than the previous wars, the War of Religion and Ownership that has already wiped out innumerable lives in Syria, France, Medina, Bangladesh and places we might not even be aware of with the media limitations.
Grave of the Fireflies shows just one of the millions of families who have disintegrated in the midst of wars that just won’t stop. The movie is a masterpiece in showing the effects and the tragedies that take place in a country torn by wars planned by the stupidest of human beings.
It shows the change in the life of a person from a well-off, well-fed person to one who has to resort to begging and stealing to put a little morsel in his loved ones mouth. It shows the crushing effect of losing all your loved ones in the face of dynamite bombs, poverty and starvation.
The film shows the bond between Seita who is hardly 14 years old and his little sister Setsuko and the tough times they face during the war and post-war days of the Second World War. After their mother and father die of bombs and military encryption respectively, Seita and Setsuko shift with their aunt who is loving at first but starts rebuking them after some days when the food ration becomes lesser. This daily rebuke makes Seita and Setsuko leave their aunt’s house and build their house in a bomb shelter where Seita somehow manages to get food for Setsuko by begging and stealing.
The continuous starvation and deprivation of proper care makes Setsuko become ill, finally leading to her death towards the end of the movie. After Setsuko’s death, Seita has no hope left to fend for himself leading to his death of poverty and starvation as well.
This film shows the horrors faced by people just like us, who go to offices, play like all kids do and eat all their meals until one day a bomb drops on their house and wipes off their entire existence.
With the daily news of suicide bombings that are just rising each day, this animated film manages to show, in the most powerful way the emotions and tragedies faced by civilians destroyed due to the idea of ‘war’ and aggression.
Do watch the Grave of the fireflies if you haven’t until now. And don’t forget to keep the tissue rolls aside.