Grave of the Fireflies
Directed by Isao Takahata from Studio Ghibli
Running time: 89 minutes
Released along with Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro as a double feature in 1988, Grave of the Fireflies is a masterful and profound film, written and directed by Isao Takahata and animated by the famous Studio Ghibli. The film follows the relationship between two orphaned children, Seita and Setsuko, who are forced to survive amid famine and hardship at the end of World War II. It is based on the semi-autobiographical novel Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no haka) by Japanese author Akiyuki Nosaka, who lived through the war and intended his book as a personal apology to his young sister, who died of malnutrition in 1945. As moving as any live action film, it's one of the most haunting and beautiful works that Studio Ghibli have produced and the first that was set in modern Japan. Although the film highlights the effects and ravages of war and is frequently described as an anti-war film, Takahata denies that this was it's intention. He claims, rather, that he wanted to highlight the difficulties of living life in isolation as well to encourage a younger generation to show more respect to those that had suffered through one of the darkest moments in Japan's history.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.