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Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies (火垂の墓 Hotaru no Haka) is an anime (animated) movie directed by Takahata Isao for the Studio Ghibli. It takes place during the end of World War Two in Japan. Two young children, who lost their mother in the firebombing of Kobe, try to make a living in the famine which followed the war.

Although about a period including the American occupation after the war, this movie is more about the destruction of families in war and the callousness and indifference to suffering that war can cause, than about the war itself. There is very little about the war or Americans in this movie; the main story is about the relationships surrounding the children who are the two main characters. It is a very moving story with rather graphic depictions of the suffering which occurred at that time.

This movie gives an excellent view into Japanese culture, where the needs of the individual are less important than the needs of the family and the nation. This film is also noteworthy for the excellent artwork and animation.

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