Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Details

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Rated: PG

Released: 16 April 1988 (Japan)

Runtime: 89 Min

Genre: Animation, Drama, War

Director: Isao Takahata

Writers: Akiyuki Nosaka  (Novel), Isao Takahata

Actors: Tsutomu Tatsumi , Ayano Shiraishi , Akemi Yamaguchi

Country: Japan

Language: Japanese

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Plot

Japan, World War 2. Teenage boy Seita and his young sister Setsuko are left homeless and effectively orphaned when their city is firebombed by US bombers. They end up living with an aunt. Initially things go well and life seems almost normal again. However, their relationship with their aunt deteriorates and Seita and Setsuko decide to leave and fend for themselves. They find a place and things seem to be going well. However, over time food gets scarcer and life becomes a constant struggle for survival.

Setsuko (aged 4) and Seita (aged 14) are brother and sister living in wartime Japan. After their mother is killed in an air raid they find a temporary home with relatives. Having quarreled with their aunt they leave the city and make their home in an abandoned shelter. While their soldier father’s destiny is unknown, the two must depend on each other to somehow keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. When everything is in short supply, they gradually succumb to hunger and their only entertainment is the light of the fireflies.

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