Home > Film, Opinions (Film) > Film: 30 Movies in 30 Days: Day 04

Film: 30 Movies in 30 Days: Day 04

This post is part of a month-long project , answering thirty topics about movies over thirty days. The subject for the fourth day is:

A movie that makes you sad

The Fountain is something that immediately came to mind, one scene in particular where Tommy cracks, unable to maintain his composure as he tries to explain why he feels he absolutely has to continue his work. It’s not a sad film in overall though and doesn’t leave me feeling sad after watching it. A film that absolutely does is:

Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies

(Click the image for a link to the source)

Grave of the Fireflies should probably make anybody cry, it’s just that sort of film. Directed by Isao Takahata, who along with Hayao Miyazaki founded the Studio Ghibli animation studio in Japan, who do for 2D animation what Pixar have being doing for computer animation. They tell unconventional stories with atypical heroes, Miyazaki focusing on the fantastical while Takahata mostly plays towards the realistic, more biographical side, and Grave of the Fireflies is a good example of Takahata’s style.

The film focuses on a brother and sister, Seita and Setsuko, orphaned during an American raid on the town of Kobe during World War 2, leaving them having to try and survive on their own. There’s no neat, happy ending, not least because it’s based on a real story, and reality produces less of such endings than movies do.

Because of the World War 2 setting it’s often described as an anti-war film, which it is in the sense that the lives of these two children are completely destroyed by the attacks, part of events that are essentially beyond their comprehension, but the film doesn’t moralise or judge about war beyond that. Despite the harrowing situation they find themselves in (and things do get very harrowing indeed) Seita and Setsuko do still have fun where they can so the film isn’t necessarily relentless in its bleakness, but with no happy resolution it’s not a film that leaves you feeling good after viewing, and more than any other I can think of it just leaves me feeling incredibly sad.


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