Grave of the Fireflies

(Hotaru no haka)
(Japan, 1988, 89 mins, DCP)
In Japanese with English subtitles
Director:
CAST (Voices) Tatsumi Tsutomi, Shirashi Ayano, Shinohara Yoshiko, Yamaguchi Akemi
Classification: PG violence; frightening scenes

Showtimes

Classified for youth: PG (please note this film has somber and sometimes harrowing content.)

Probably the least seen Studio Ghibli masterpiece (at least in North America), this is also one of the most affecting animated films ever made. Roger Ebert described it "as an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation," adding: "It belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made."

Set in Japan during WWII, the film focuses on Seita and his little sister Setsuko. After their mother is killed in an air raid, and with their father serving in the navy, they are forced to fight for survival in the devastated Japanese countryside. Food and shelter are scarce, and even their own relatives are too concerned with their own survival. All they have is each other and their belief that life must carry on. A visually stunning and emotionally powerful meditation on the devastating consequences of war.

“Grave of the Fireflies” is an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation… It belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made." Roger Ebert