Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies ★★★★

It’s a known fact that World War II was one of the most barbaric conflicts in human history. The things both sides did to each other was inhumane and thus many films have failed to capture the true essence of the publics reaction to the deviation well. Grave of the Fireflies is a devastating meditation on the human cost of war. Showcasing a bleak and depressing world ravaged by air-raids and the cost to the public who weren’t fighting. Despite the fact that you know from the very beginning how this is going to end, it doesn’t make it any easier to prepare yourself for the heartbreaking story that unfolds. Director Isao Takahata makes survival the thematic core of the story, mixing in such odd hopefulness, with overwhelming saddens. The stylised images suit the simplicity and gravity of a grim story of love, sacrifice and survival in the face of adult indifference and cruelty as all around Seita and Setsuko, nature, in the face of human destruction and tragedy, still persists in its beauty. It isn't an easy film to watch but it's essential viewing, sitting among the great works of animation, or really of all film, for that matter. We're so used to seeing the human spirit triumph. Here, we're allowed to understand how it might fail and for that, Grave of the Fireflies offers a bleak and depressing world that works brilliantly. 
Studio Ghibli Ranked

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