Grave of the Fireflies is a Japanese animated movie set in Japan during the second World War. Its plot has 2 children dealing with the effects of war, and through their eyes, a powerful anti-war theme is delivered. Roger Ebert describes it as one of the best war movies of all time, and I can see why. I am still thinking about the movie hours after watching it.

The war movies I have seen (and remember) talk about bravery, machismo or clash of ideologies. They alienate the human aspect of war: the stories of suffering and the effects of war on innocents. Most wars are between regimes; not peoples, and I’d reckon that any narrative that shows the human aspect of war will end up being an anti-war message. Because war is ugly, and  acts of bravery only cover this fact.


As I watched the plot unfold, I realized I still haven’t seen death closely. Not my death (the claims of dangerous hikes notwithstanding), but death around me. The same goes for second order suffering: Suffering of someone close to me that I have no control over.

I can’t call my personal philosophy well baked until then. So it goes.


I now see why Bollywood villains prefer kidnapping the kin of the protagonist.