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Hotaru no haka (1988)

Hotaru no haka (1988)

Tsutomu TatsumiAyano ShiraishiAkemi YamaguchiYoshiko Shinohara
Isao Takahata


Hotaru no haka (1988) is a Japanese movie. Isao Takahata has directed this movie. Tsutomu Tatsumi,Ayano Shiraishi,Akemi Yamaguchi,Yoshiko Shinohara are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1988. Hotaru no haka (1988) is considered one of the best Animation,Drama,War movie in India and around the world.

The story of Seita and Setsuko, two young Japanese siblings, living in the declining days of World War II. When an American firebombing separates the two children from their parents, the two siblings must rely completely on one another while they struggle to fight for their survival.

Hotaru no haka (1988) Reviews

  • A Beautiful Unforgettable Masterpiece that shows the true cost of war.


    I decided to watch Grave of the Fireflies yesterday. My friends told me it was extremely moving and sad. I hesitated at first, but then I said "Oh well, I'll give it a try." At the end of the film, I was crying my eyes out. This was the best animated film, I've ever seen.This is a moving depiction of the fates of cast-off children who become casualties of war. This movie isn't your regular Animated Film. Pixar and Disney put films out there with happy endings. I'm not saying there bad films at all. They are also great pieces of work. But Grave of the Fireflies tells you the truth. This movie isn't trying to entertain you. It wants to inform you about how war is really like. There were many moments in the movie, that just brought me to tears. I am kind of upset, that this movie didn't get many awards as it should. In that regards, it is VERY underrated and it is kind of thrown apart. When it should really be respected and praise it. If this movie was made in our time period right now. I would be 100% sure this would of Won an Oscar for Best Animated Film. This is Studio Ghilbi's best movie they have ever released. I truly advice you to bring a handkerchief, cause chances are that you will cry. An Emotional Epic Animated Film, that I recommend everyone to watch. Quite Simply 10/10

  • The best movie you'll never want to see again


    I had the fortune of being able to see Hotaru no Haka on the big-screen in Seattle a couple of years ago. It was truly the high-point of my film festival excursions. At the end of the movie, there was silence, absolute and total silence in the theater - and then, only an occasional sniffle until the end credits had finished rolling and the house lights came up. It would've seemed almost disrespectful to profane the silence with words. Seeing a movie like this really changes attitudes about war - about who really suffers, and that the honor and glory is shallow comfort when you contemplate what has been lost in the struggle. I've made the comment to my friends that if you ever see someone who isn't moved (usually to tears) by this movie, you've found someone without a soul. As difficult as it is to watch, turn off the phone, dim the lights, and immerse yourself in the film with ones you love - you will be a better person for it in the end. There are many other reviews of this movie, and most of them are probably far more comprehensive than my own - I'll conclude by saying that this movie should required viewing at some point (as should the peace museums at Hiroshima and Nagasaki) for everyone. When you see war and conflict in the news or read about it in the paper, think back to this movie - your perspective will probably be broadened, and your eyes opened a bit more. I've only watched this movie about 4 times - it usually takes a year or so to "decompress" after watching it. To see it too often would lessen the impact, and that would be the worst possible thing to do to this movie.

  • A masterpiece, whose beauty is often overlooked


    When I watched this movie, I steeled myself for a traumatic experience, based on every review I'd ever read of it, which usually include phrases like "don't watch this if you're suicidal." Instead, if I had to pick a single word to sum up the movie I saw, it would probably be 'beautiful'. Certainly it was sad, and arguably depressing, but I've read this movie compared with 'Saving Private Ryan'. That's ridiculous. 'Grave of the Fireflies' is gentle and poetic more often than it's violent, and it's remarkably restrained in its anti-war message. It simply tells a story : there's very little at all in the way of moralizing or polemics. Why would a story like this need such heavy-handed tactics? I've also read it argued that the movie is robbed of any suspense or impact when it's revealed in the opening scene that the main characters are dead. I have a quite different view of that device. Firstly. the beginning of 'Fireflies' is, for all intents and purposes, a 'happy ending'. This is such a non-linear plot development that you could fail to notice it, and thereby only see the movie's gloom. The moment where the ghostly Seita takes the ghostly Setsuko's hand and nods to her is not only a happy moment, it signifies that the suffering - which is yet to come, as far as the viewer is concerned - is over, and they are together again (albeit still without parents). As for a character revealing that he is dead in the first line of the movie, this is a device which has been used in centuries if not Milena. The crucial thing here is that 'Fireflies' isn't _about_ tension. It tells a story whose ultimate conclusion you already know (a legitimate narrative approach), and everything which happens during that story is emotionally infused with a foreknowledge of its ending. You find yourself hoping that things will go right now for Setsuko and Seita, and then the knowledge that ultimately it won't undercuts you with real emotional power. You know the characters are going to die, but you hope things won't be so bad in the meantime. It doesn't take much of an effort to make that an analogy for our own lives, which makes us all fireflies. Perhaps what might make someone feel disappointed or cheated by this film is simply that it's so damn honest. I mean that: it's one of the most honest, artifice-free movies I've ever seen. It doesn't even really try to ram an anti-war message down your throat there is very little overt violence, and if there are some scenes of corpses and suffering, it's never gratuitous, and it's over quickly. Compare this with 'Private Ryan', where you have to suffer through 40 minutes of the most horrific blood and guts, only to reach a conclusion which, after much blood and thunder, signifies very little. 'Fireflies', OTOH, has far more beauty than gore. This is what really surprised me about it. Probably two thirds of the movie takes place in gorgeously drawn, tranquil rural or urban settings, with an almost pleasant dreamlike quality - even when the American bombers are flying overhead at one point there is a surreal, almost serene sense to it - and there are plenty of moments of happiness to offset the undeniably sadness and frustration of other scenes. Perhaps best of all, Setsuko is one of the very, very few (if not the only) animated 4 year-old I've ever seen who actually _behaves_ like a four year old. I'm so sick of seeing preternaturally smart, sassy, sophisticated and precocious children in Hollywood movies. Setsuko's emotion and behaviors are _exactly_ right for a completely normal four year-old, and recognizing this lends many scenes incredible poignancy. Similarly, Seita is a teenage boy who behaves with the sort of mixture of pride, compassion and hubris which you'd expect of someone his age. He still believes that Japan will win the war he thinks it's up to him to take care of his sister with their mother gone and father who knows where. This leads him to make mistakes: possibly the most obvious one being where he fails to take the farmer's advice, swallow his pride and ask his nasty aunt to take them back in again. You would probably have to say his decision not to even try - to go it alone instead, was a very bad one, but - hello, people - here is a character who makes mistakes because he's actually human: a believable teenage boy in an extraordinary situation, who doesn't miraculously save the day, because his best judgment just isn't good enough. Of course, his aunt may well have knocked them back anyway. Who knows? Don't go into the film expecting tension, drama or even a tirade against war. It's a movie about the beauty and fragility of life and youth. If you think Japanese animation is all giant robots and superhuman schoolgirls, this could be the film which changes your mind. It's slow, poetic, beautiful and sad, and extraordinarily honest. I must be the only person who didn't cry during this film (and I mean, I get choked up during some Disney movies). Yes, it is sad, but its beauty and honesty is what I'll remember. NB: this review refers to the subtitled version of the film.

  • Haunting

    Black Rainbow2001-01-28

    I was warned this movie would be emotional, but I had no idea just how understated that was. By the end, my friend and I were huddled together, pouring out tears I've never shed for any movie before. It was a mix of horror, empathy, sadness, and so many more emotions I can't even begin to list. Visions of this film have haunted me since first watching it, and I would find it hard to watch again, simply from it being so heart-wrenching. Only one movie has ever hit me hard enough to keep me from subjecting myself to it's strong emotions again (The thief, the cook, his wife and her lover). I strongly urge all to watch this, as it rises well about any films I've seen, anime or not.

  • One of the finest films ever made.


    Occasionally there's a film that literally changes one's perceptions of the world. `Grave of the Fireflies' is one of those films. No movie ever made generates such an intense and powerful emotional response as this one. It's an animated film set in Japan during the closing days of World War II. Two children; a boy named Seita and his much younger sister Setsuko; must quickly learn to cope with life after their mother is killed during a fire-bombing raid by American B-29's. The film starts with the children and their mother preparing for the attack, then follows the children as they attempt to survive the death of their mother, and the possible death of their father, a naval officer serving aboard the Japanese heavy cruiser `Maya.' (A US submarine torpedoed the `Maya' in late October of 1944 during the battle of Leyte Gulf.) The story of two orphans trying to survive in war-ravaged Japan is not the subject of your typical light-hearted animated film. In fact it may be much too serious for anyone under the age of 14. The first five minutes of the film hits one like a sledgehammer – by far the most emotional opening scene I've ever come across. I found myself already reaching for the tissues, and trying to choke back the tears. Yet there's more than just tragedy in `Grave of the Fireflies.' It is the most awesome love story one is ever likely to see. But it's far from the typical Hollywood idea of a love story. Instead of the usual highly attractive Hollywood actors of the opposite sex pining for one another in front of the camera, we have an animated Japanese brother and his much younger little sister. It's not a tale of romantic love, but one of `brotherly' love. Seita loves his little sister, and once he discovers that his mother has been killed in the bombing, he does everything he can to keep his sister from finding out about her horrible death. Then, with typical Japanese seriousness, he begins to immediately provide for and comfort Setsuko; she being the only member of his immediate family he has left. Though not stated in the film, it seems obvious that part of Seita's motivation for looking so carefully after his sister has to do with avoiding his own pain and despair having been left with NOTHING after the bombing attack. No mother, no father, no home. The war Japan is waging against the rest of the world takes its toll on these two little ones, without regard for their feelings or emotions. That which truly broke my heart into ten thousand tiny pieces was the selfless way Seita looked after his younger sister, and shielded her from the horrors all around, especially the lack of food. Films show us many things, some good, some evil, but rarely has any film shown how one person so unselfishly puts another ahead of them self. Seita does makes some mistakes in the way he goes about taking care of his sister, but I can't fault him for his love and his devotion. Who of us have always chosen the best path, the most perfect way of doing things? Surely not I! Seita's obvious love and devotion to Setsuko is the most moving and convicting thing I've ever come across on film. I use the word `convicting' because this movie convicted me of my own very selfish nature. `Grave of the Fireflies' caused me sadness not just because of Seita's brave attempts to take care of his little sister; but because he gave of himself so totally and completely, even though his sister was a liability to his own survival. I could not help to be convicted concerning all the many times there have been family and friends who have needed my help or understanding, but I ignored them in favor of `doing my own thing.' How sad I am for all those times I've ignored the suffering of others and their cries for help. This film showed the evil in my own heart – something that I would not have noticed on my own. But now that the blinders have been removed, I can repent of my selfishness, and look for ways to help others, instead of avoiding them. Some Japanese anime I've seen are very much anti-American. But even though it's the Americans dropping the bombs in this film, there is no overt anti-American message. In many ways, the Japanese civilians are shown in as bad a light as is the American air and naval forces! Their hard hearts and stubborn ways are displayed on the screen without apology; and one can see how the plight of the two children is made even worst by the selfishness of the adults that they have come to rely upon. It would be easy for someone from `the West' (i.e. the USA, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, etc.) to think that the two children depicted in this animated marvel were the exception, rather than the rule. They lived in very trying times, and surely children in this day and age do not have to go through experiences similar to Seita's and Setsuko's. Unfortunately, that's not the case. There are still major problems with orphans and unwanted children in the former communist block countries of Eastern Europe and Russia itself. There are also large numbers of unwanted children roaming the streets of China, India, Mongolia, and various other Asian nations. We may not here about it on the news, or hear our friends talk about it; but I assure you that there are literally millions of children around the world whose situation is no better, if not much worst than that of Seita and Setsuko. I am very thankful I had the honor of watching this film. I'm also very thankful for the people who put it together. But most of all, I'm very thankful for the positive impact it has had on my life.


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