Last week-end, we had the annual chinese festival in Chinatown, Mauritius. As usual, I wanted to go have a look (with Bertrand and Pawan) and buy some salted plums (salangis) and while walking I saw a shop selling DVDs and I managed to get hold of Grave of the Fireflies (now the ones missing on my wishlist are: My neighbour Totorro, Castle in the sky and Porco Rosso)
Grave of the fireflies is a war movie that depicts the story of two kids Setsuko and Seita during the second world war in Japan.
At the start of the movie, they are living in Japan with their mum while their dad is in the navy. But after an intense fire bombing in Kobe, they lose their mum (and house) and go to live with their aunt. Initially, all is well but as the family is pressured by lack of food (during the war), they soon find Setsuko and Seita a burden. As a result, the kids leave and find a new “home” in an old abandoned shelter by a river.
As they don’t have any light at night, they watch firelies and there starts their struggle to stay alive – trading stuff, stealing food from fields, raiding houses during firebombing – until eventually … they die of hunger.
Grave of the fireflies is widely recognized as one of the best war-movies (it’s rated at around 200 on IMDB top 250 movies). It does not try to turn anyone into a devil, it just shows how people behaved when pressed by war – would you be able to blame the aunt for making Setsuko and Seita feel undesired if she is not having enough food for herself?
One of my must-see movies.