Film review: Grave of the Fireflies

Dir. Isao Takahata. Voices Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, 88mins

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The Independent Culture

The second Studio Ghibli film getting a 25th-anniversary re-release this week is another beautifully drawn animation about childhood, but in a very different register.

It is about the valiant but unsuccessful efforts of a 14-year-old boy to protect his four- year-old sister after their mother is killed during the fire-bombing of Kobe in March 1945. It is told with remarkable and poetic restraint, as war movies go; achingly sad and hard to bear.