Ghibli Fest: Grave of the Fireflies

An achingly poignant anti-war film, 'Grave of the Fireflies' is one of Studio Ghibli's most profoundly beautiful, haunting works.

A teenager is charged with the care of his younger sister after an Allied firebombing during World War II destroys their home and kills their mother.

“Grave of the Fireflies  is an animated film telling the story of two children from the port city of Kobe, Japan, made homeless by the bombs of World War II. Seita is a young teenager, and his sister Setsuko is about 5. Their father is serving in the Japanese navy, and their mother is a bomb victim; Seita kneels beside her body, covered with burns, in an emergency hospital.

“Their home, neighbors, schools are all gone. For a time an aunt takes them in, but she’s cruel about the need to feed them, and eventually Seita finds a hillside cave where they can live. He does what he can to find food, and to answer Setsuko’s questions about their parents. The first shot of the film shows Seita dead in a subway station, and so we can guess Setsuko’s fate; we are accompanied through flashbacks by the boy’s spirit.

“One of the film’s greatest gifts is its patience; shots are held so we can think about them, characters are glimpsed in private moments, atmosphere and nature are given time to establish themselves.” - Chicago Sun Times

Grave of the Fireflies is in Japanese with English subtitles


No screenings currently scheduled.

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