I was crying too. It's not often a film gets under my skin like that.
I think I'll have to get a copy.
Be prepared to weep- copiously.
I'll have to look for it. Another good one is Ghost in the Shell for its existentialist delvings into what makes a human...human.
I'll check out Ghost in the Shell.
I watched the film without thinking of the greater issues involved. I simply identified with the children and wished one person--the doctor? the woman in her house?--might have been kind.
Pearl Buck's wonderful Dragon Seed is a similar story about the horrors of war, how innocence is brutalized by it. There is one scene--well, here it is:
How then could Ling Tan be prepared for the next day? It was a day like any other.
It was at mid-morning that he heard the noise of flying ships ... He looked up and he saw the sun shining upon the silver creatures in the sky, not solitary as he had always seen them, but many of them and moving with such grace as he had only seen before in wild geese, flying south across the autumn sky. ...
And then they saw a silver fragment come out of one and drift down while the ships went on. Down the silver fragment dropped, slanting a little toward the east, and it fell into a field of rice. A fountain of dark earth flew up and this they all saw, still without any fear or knowledge.
In simple eagerness to see the thing they ran toward the field, Ling Tan and his sons among the rest...They could not find it...one or two bits of metal they did find, and there was the hole, and the man who owned the field laughed as he stared down into the hole.
"I have wanted a pond on my land for ten years and never had time to dig it and here it is," he said joyfully, and they decided together that such was the purpose of these machines, to dig ponds and wells and waterways where they were wanted. Thirty paces the pond was one way and a little longer the other, and every man paced it off to make sure and envied the man into whose field it had fallen.
So busy were they in this that it was not until their first wonder was over that they thought to hear and to see what was now going on. Then one man did hear over the city these same sounds that had made this hole, and he looked up and saw over the city wall a good three miles away, the rolling smoke as though of great fires. One by one peaks of smoke rose into the still air, slowly, for there was no wind, and they curled upward like black thunder clouds.
"Now what?" Ling Tan called, but no one answered, for none knew. They stood together, so alike in their blue coats that one man looked like another, and watched.
The kindest adult character is, oddly enough, the village policeman who threaten's the boy's assailant with a charge of assault.
I bought Dragon Seed on you recommendation and it's sitting in my in-tray. So many books! Right now I'm making my way through The Life And Death of Peter Sellers which weighs in at over 1000 pages.
Ah, Grave of the Fireflies. Yes, yes, marvelous film. I want to recommend to you anything by Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.
Thanks. Anime is such a huge field; it's good to have recommendations.
i need to see this.
when i worked for the japanese consulate in chicago, people (americans)often sent japanese flags from WWII that a recently passed-on grandfather, uncle, etc. had taken from a japanese soldier (presumably after said soldier's death, as a prize, of sorts). they sent the flags to the consulate to see if the japanese government could track down any living relatives of the dead japanese solider to see if they would like it back, and if no family was found, to put the flag on display in a museum or the like.
but one day someone sent the skull -- the painted skull -- of a japanese soldier. i don't know the backstory on it, but for a few seconds it made me ashamed to be american, knowing that an american soldier had possibly beheaded a japanese solider, removed his skull, painted it, and then held onto it as a keepsake. but then i realized that it probably had more to do with human beings acting violently, nation of origin be damned. still, the memory of that day and seeing the skull will remain forever etched in my mind.
People do foul things in war. When I was a kid I was taught to hate the Japanese for the way they'd treated our prisoners of war (Bridge Over the River Kwai and all that.) I was encouraged to think of them as sub-human barbarians- worse even than the Germans (who were at least Europeans.) It was a lie, or more accurately a half truth. Our troops out east did things just as bad.
I've never seen this film. I've never really watched any Japanese animated films before, but they seem to be much more sophistocated than America's cartoons. Most of our clever cartoons were made 60 years ago, I think.
It's always amazing how grownup Japanese animation really is. It must be a very well-made film to be so engrossing and relevant for adults too.
I think Western animation is improving. I like the recent Pixar movies- they're smart and inventive- though they are still stuck with frenetic comedy plots that hark back to the Keystone Kops.
Actually the best Western animation is on TV. There's still nothing to touch the Simpsons.