Being an ardent admirer of cinema off late, I never miss a chance to watch movies that belong to decades that have gone by or even foreign-language movies. This time around, I happened to watch this war anime movie - 'Grave of the Fireflies', which released in the year 1988. A movie that old? War anime? I didn't hesitate, the premise of the movie is survival in Japan during World War II, a teenager (Seita) who's responsible for his sister (Setsuko) and himself. This movie as anticipated, was heartwarming! To give a broader perspective and without giving away too much, here are 4 things that make this movie a must-watch!
1. The sibling bond
I mean, it's established in the first few minutes of the movie, that this is going to make you appreciate your sibling and the fact that you're not living in the WWII era. A caring elder brother Seita who's looking out for his younger sister Setsuko and protecting her making sure they make through the bombings also ensures that the adversities don't get the best of her. Be it taking her to the beach amidst the grave situation, building their own little world lit up by the fireflies are those defining moments of what having a sibling who loves you like their own is all about.
2. Losing a loved one
A war that has an impact even today, imagine the mindset of a common man who only wishes to see the next day of his life. And that happened only if the odds are in your favor, millions died and GOTFF portrays it in the most realistic way that it can. The essence of losing your dear ones comes at every turn in this movie, it's not just the war but also the consequences that lead to deaths and unfortunately for our protagonists, they're only left with each other to depend upon.
It's needless to emphasize the fact that when it's a war between nations, the citizens suffered and all they would want is to make it to the next day alive. It meant storing food, relying on the kindness of strangers, begging and stealing even, because morals mean absolutely nothing when your life is at stake. And for Seita, he was responsible for 2 lives!
4. Human relations
When two young kids are left to look out for themselves, there are obviously people they depend upon to help them survive. What happens as a result is a constant dependence ultimately leading to 'being a burden' on others. Certainly, you're made to feel unworthy at an age where you should probably not even be worrying about responsibilities. It leads to Seita and Setsuko making brave choices as two kids who may probably survive the war but not the world outside on their own.
All in all, watch it for the compassion it has to offer and definitely appreciate the fact that we are lucky to have our loved ones around!