Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies ★★★★★

Visually stunning and emotionally devastating, Grave of the Fireflies tells the story of brother and sister Seita and Setsuko as they try to survive during the end of World War II. This movie goes to show that the aesthetic of an animated movie can be just as effective (if not more) as a live-action film in conveying powerful feelings. Usually animated movies are light-hearted and easy to watch, sometimes they make you cry but they rarely center around sadness and despair. Grave of the Fireflies is exactly the opposite, it offers sorrow, grief, it's painful to watch and it's a crushing experience. War destroys, separates, estranges, it brings the worst out of people but by focusing on the siblings' innocence, love and care for each other their struggle, even if futile in the end, demonstrates there still is a glimmer of light amidst all the darkness. At one point in the movie Setsuko loses one of her shoes and says she has money to buy a new pair, giving her brother her little purse containing buttons and bolt nuts instead of real money. Seita tells her: "You are rich!" Indeed she is.

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