To celebrate the release of Studio Ghibli’s latest film, Arrietty, in UK cinemas we’re taking a look back at some of the studio’s classic with a Video Vault series.
Patrick Gamble takes a look back at the 1988 war film written and directed by Isao Takahata, Grave of the Fireflies. Check back over the next week for more in this series.
Grave of the Fireflies appears as somewhat of an anomaly when rummaging through the Ghibli back catalogue. Whilst the franchise’s other serious features such as Princess Mononoke and Nausicca have tackled adult themes, they have done so through subtle symbolism, softened against a fantasy backdrop. Grave of the Fireflies, however, is so emotionally charged that its raw and unflinching approach in its portrayal of warfare demands it be taken seriously.