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  • 1. Tragic EndingsGrave of the Fireflies Isao Takahata, 1988 Presentation by Desiree Bolster &Ogechukwu Nnamdi-Emetarom

2. Tragic ending What is a tragic ending ?Tragedy as defined by thedictionary reference is a dramatic composition, oftenin verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme,typically that of a great person destined through a flawof character or conflict with some overwhelming force,as fate or society, to downfall or destruction. It is atype of drama in which the protagonist has to gothrough inevitable hardship . A tragic ending is a conclusion to a movie/ story wherethe fate of the protagonist in an unhappy one. 3. Cast & Characters Seita (Tsutomu Tatsumi)- a 14 year oldJapanese boy whose sole responsibility is totake care of his younger sister after theirmother dies from the air raidds. He tries to dowhatever he can to provide for Setsuko. IsaoTakahata, the films director and screenwriter,said that he was difficult to animate becausethe facial expressions and posturres of a 14-year old boy, which often appearunemotional or grumpy or emotionallyimbalanced, are difficult to depict in theexaggerated animation styles. Setsuko (Ayano Shiraishi)- Seitas 4 year oldsister. She is an innocent little girl whosunaware of the war going on throughout thefilm. Mother(Yoshiko Shinohara)- Seita andSetsukos mother who is badly burned afterthe attacks on the village and dies at thebeginning of the film. Aunt (Akemi Yamaguchi)- Seita andSetsukos aunt who initially lets them in ather home but then grows resentful of the m notproviding food for the household. 4. Grave of the Fireflies:Movie Synopsis Grave of the Fireflies is a Japanese film based on the autobiographical novel byAkiyuki Nosaka.It talks about the experiences of a teenage boy (Seita) and thehardship he goes through during WWII as he strives to protect and provide for hislittle sister (Setsuko). After their mother is killed from an air raid, the children find refuge with theirhostile aunt and are forced to put up with her fiendish behavior. One day, they gotfed up with her attitude and decided to leave and find refuge in a cold barren bombshelter on the outskirts of town and are left to survive on the little they had left.Setsuko was scared of the dark and they did not have any electricity so they haduse fire flies to light up the place at night. They managed to strive under this horrificcondition for a couple of days but after a while things got really tough for them. Seitahad to steal food and other supplies just so they would survive but it wasnt enoughand Setsuko got sick. Seita was forced to withdraw all the money left in his mothersaccount. While in the bank, he discovered that Japan had lost the war and also thathis dad who was a soldier in the Navy was probably dead. He returned to theshelter to find his Seita laying down,starving. He quickly begins preparing food forhis sister who is already lost in hallucinations, and dies soon after. Seita crematesSetsuko and also dies of malnutrition a few weeks later. 5. Firefly Symbolism Actual Fireflies (Which die andMature fireflies which emit light are buried by Setsuko).have extremely short life spans The children themselves,of two to three weeks and are especially Setsuko, who dies attraditionally regarded as a such a young age.symbol of impermanence,which resonates with much of Kamikaze planes and pilots:classical Japanese tradition (asSetsuko observes that awith cherry blossoms). Firefliespassing kamikaze plane looksare also symbolic of the humanlike a firefly.soul ("Hitodama"), which is Glowing wood splintersdepicted as a floating,emanating from the cremationflickering fireball.of Setsuko 6. Film TechniquesThis movie is strongly influenced by Japanese Animationtechniques.Characters large eyes show strong emotion.Water color look creates softness and charm.Pillow shots or incosequential moments added in between activescenes, adds punctuation to contemplate emotional story. This technique pioneered by great Japanese Director Yasujiro Ozu. 7. VIDEO CLIP Click on the link above below to watch video This is just a 3 min video of a clip compilation of some of the notable scenes in the movie 8. Discussion What is the main lesson from this movie ? What character would you consider to be thehero in this movie and why ? 9. Bibliography