Grave of the Fireflies


Hotaru no haka (1988)
Director: Isao Takahata
Runtime: 89 min

A tragic story of two Japanese children left on their own in the midst od World War II.

In the spring of 1945 U.S. bombers dropped napalm on Kobe, at the time the sixth-largest city in Japan with about one million inhabitants. The firestorm that followed burned a large part of the city and killed almost 9,000 people. After their mother dies of horrible burns, fourteen-year-old Seita and his four-year-old sister Setskuo go to live with their aunt. Soon disagreements emerge because, due to war food shortages, their aunt treats them as a burden, so the two kids soon decide to move into an abandoned bomb shelter …

This simple and very tender animated movie, speaks in a very moving way not only about the tragedy of an innocent childhood, helpless before the horrors of war, but also channels the pain and despair we feel when faced with the fact that we live in a civilization that allowed these things to happen, and still allows. Based on actual events, described in the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Akiyuki Nosaka.

You can download this film or watch it online.

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