Starring: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi
Director: Isao Takahata
Although I loved this film, after it finished I needed a drink! It’s very sweet and very sad.
The film is about a boy Setsuko and his little sister Seita, at the end of WW2 in Japan. During an air raid their mother is badly injured and dies, and the boy takes his sister to their aunt, since their father is away fighting. They soon find that they are a burden on their aunt, and must survive and fend for themselves, but even though they’re living in a brutal world, they find delight in their routine and in little things like the fireflies in the evening.
Things generally go from bad to worse for the two, and the film doesn’t shy away from the realities of war and survival.
Why Is It A Must See: the beauty in this film is in the innocence and devotion of the two siblings. They care for each other, and their love is what the film is all about. But although Setsuko is a devoted brother and very inventive and responsible in his ability to provide for his sister, things aren’t simple. The two seem to slip through the cracks wherever they go. Their ability to find the beautiful in the mundane, to have hope and to enjoy life is wonderful, but is it ultimately futile?
See It If: you want to cry your eyes out. It’s a beautiful, moving film, but it’s sad.