Monday, May 13, 2013

Hotaru no haka (Grave of the Fireflies) (1988)

This beautifully drawn anime is not about dragons, magic, or robots from the far distant future.  This anime is a realistic depiction of a brother and sister coping with loss and navigating an uncaring world.
Seita tries very hard to take care of his little sister, Setsuko, and shelters her from the reality of what's going on.  He does not tell her that their mother died in the recent bombing. He tells her that she is going to a hospital in another town.
Their spiteful aunt reveals the truth to Setsuko. Their aunt has no intention of taking care of them and give them the most meager portions of anyone in the house. 
One thing that bothered me is why Seita never asked for help. He must feel helpless because his aunt refused to help them and doesn't trust anyone. But he needs to for the sake of Setsuko.  When he took her to the doctor, the doctor told him she needed food, but he keeps trying to provide for them on his own.  When he was caught stealing food from the farm and brought to the police, the police officer is kind and offers Seita some water. Why didn't he tell the officer they needed help? There had to be a place somewhere that took in children and fed them, or maybe a shelter for victims of the bombings.  We know that they have family in Tokyo, why didn't he look them up? I don't know my parent's address, but I can look it up if I want to visit them.
Think about how many drone strikes there are today. Think about how many bombs or leftover mines went off.  How many children were killed today?  The exact number is something we won't know.  The movie is powerful as it reminds us of the forgotten victims of war.  It also shows that animation is not just a medium of fantasy, but can portray the darkness of reality as well. For that reason I will give it an 8/10.

No comments:

Post a Comment