Akiyuki Nosaka Author Of ‘Grave Of The Fireflies’ Passes Away | Film News
Akiyuki Nosaka, author of the semi-autobiographical story that formed the basis of Studio Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies, has died aged 85. Nosaka wrote the short story about his experiences in Japan at the close of the Second World War, where he and his sisters were forced to fend for themselves after the passing of their parents.
Directed by Isao Takahata, Grave of the Fireflies steps outside the bounds of the Ghibli tradition; abandoning the fairy tale aesthetics for a harsh, social-realism based depiction of wartime Japan. Legendary critic Roger Ebert called the film “an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation“. Following two young siblings; Seita and Setsuko, after the death of their mother in an allied firebomb attack; the film tracks a descent into poverty and starvation through the eyes of the innocent.
Rarely has an animation chosen to depict the harsh reality of war in such an unflinching manner. Perforated with moments of exquisite beauty and joy, Nosaka‘s narrative questions the West’s accountability in the Pacific, where between 241,000 and 900,000 people were killed in air raids that destroyed the country’s infrastructure. Firebombing was a common weapon amongst the Allied forces, though its inaccuracy led to unconscionable number of civilian fatalities. If you haven’t seen the film, check out the trailer below. It can be a difficult watch but rarely is an animated film so poignant.
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