Japan, 1988, 89 min, DCP, Dir. Isao Takahata, Rated PG, Japanese with English Subtitles, GKIDS

Grave of the Fireflies

Saturday, 6/2 & Sunday, 6/3

"Animation allows Takahata to concentrate on the essence of the story, and the lack of visual realism in his animated characters allows our imagination more play; freed from the literal fact of real actors, we can more easily merge the characters with our own associations." – Roger Ebert

Widely considered one of the best animated films of all time, Grave of the Fireflies is arguably Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata’s magnum opus. As the Empire of the Sun crumbles upon itself and a rain of firebombs falls upon Japan, the final death march of a nation is echoed in millions of smaller tragedies. This is the story of Seita and his younger sister Setsuko, two children born at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and now cast adrift in a world that lacks not the care to shelter them, but simply the resources. Forced to fend for themselves in the aftermath of fires that swept entire cities from the face of the earth, their doomed struggle is both a tribute to the human spirit and the stuff of nightmares. Based on the retellings of survivor Akiyui Nosaka, the film exemplifies the power of animation. Indeed, Nosaka received many offers to create a film version of his story ultimately concluded that it could not be told in any other medium.

For over three decades, Studio Ghibli has transported audiences across the globe to magical realms filled with fantastic creatures and awe-inspiring sights. Led by co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, the Japanese studio has garnered numerous awards, set box office records, and touched the hearts of children and adults alike. Join us for a two-week celebration as we present, in partnership with GKIDS, all 22 films (and one short!) in the Complete Studio Ghibli.

Check out the rest of our The Complete Studio Ghibli program!