Originally released as part of a double bill with My Neighbour Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies is a more mature film, set in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. It begins with the death of 14-year-old Seita, whose spirit narrates the experiences and tribulations encountered by himself and his younger sister Setsuko after the loss of their mother and home in a bombing raid.
At first, they find shelter with a willing aunt but as food becomes scarcer and she begins to resent the burden of caring for the children, they strike out on their own, initially with some success, but ultimately, as we already know, with tragic results. While the film’s themes are open to interpretation, whether it’s pro-social responsibility or anti-war, what is undeniable is its power to move audiences. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)
IFI Age Recommendation: 12+
Between May 24th to 30th the IFI will also be screening Hayon Miyazaki’s My Neighbour Totoro.
See also our IFI Family screening, The Adventures of Robin Hood, the classic adventure from Warner Bros. which is showing on the 90th anniversary of the famed Hollywood studio (May 26th at 11.00).