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Grave of the Fireflies - Isao Takahata

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Evelyn Mendoza
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Grave of the Fireflies - Isao Takahata

This film was written and directed by Isao Takahata and animated by Studio Ghibli. This film is based on a book written by Akiyuki Nosaki. This film depicts the life of two young siblings during and after World War II. The first time I saw this film, I could not hold back tears at the perilous life these children lived.  What was even more saddening is the way the adults around them treated them- with such little regard. I could only hope that if I found myself in a similar situation I would not behave in a similar manner.

This would be a great film to show in class, because the dialogue is easy to understand, and there are many literary elements at play. The most important questions I would ask students to respond to is: Why do you think Mr. Takahata made this film? Many people say this is an anti-war film, though Mr. Takahata denies it. If that is indeed true, then why did he make it? I would want to know what students feel was accomplished by creating this film. 

I found a pretty comprehensive project resource for this film that I could easily modify or adjust to meet the needs of my own students.