Location: Los Angeles, California

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Masterpiece

Today in my anime class we watched Isao Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies (1988), and I am confident in saying that the film is one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking movie experiences I've ever had. It's filled with precious moments and stunning revelations about human nature. It follows a young teenage boy (Seita) and his little sister (Setsuko) as they try to survive in the Japanese countryside during WWII. American planes drop napalm canisters on the characters' home village, causing the neighborhood to blow up in flames. As a result, Seita and Setsuko are separated from their mother, and the rest of the movie deals with their attempts to live in a war environment which is breaking the souls of thousands.

For those Republicans out there, fear not, the movie never blatantly condemns America. Instead, war itself is the villain; war... that completely senseless affair that robs mankind of his dignity. Grave of the Fireflies deserves to be grouped with Apocalypse Now, Grand Illusion, Schindler's List, and The Thin Red Line as one of the great anti-war films. Wait, I'll go further than that - it deserves to be considered one of best motion pictures ever made.


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