By Shabbir Hussain
ISLAMABAD, Nov 22 (WNP): A four-day Japanese film show opened here at the Islamabad Club Friday with the screening of the film ‘Graves of the Fireflies’.
Japanese Charge d’ Affaires Yusuke Shindo attended the screening of inaugural film of the show, organized by the Embassy of Japan together with the Islamabad Art Festival 2019 as a part of the ongoing cultural activities celebrating ‘A Month of Japanese Culture’.
The film shows will also be held on November 26, 27 and 28.
Yusuke Shindo, while speaking on the occasion, said the Embassy of Japan in Pakistan with the support of the Japan Foundation had been holding film shows since 1995 aiming to provide an opportunity for the people of Pakistan to witness various aspects of the Japanese lifestyle, culture and society through an important medium of films.
‘Grave of the Fireflies’, directed by Isao Takahata, is a Japanese animated film based on a war story. The young boy Seita and his younger sister Setsuko are the main characters, who are depicted living in Japan during the World War II. Seita and Setsuko are represented as the victims of the war because they need to struggle with the oppressive conditions each day of their life.
The film demonstrates how the life of the whole family is destroyed due to the war because the mother dies as a result of firebombing, the fate of the father is unknown, and two young children die from malnutrition.
The goal of ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ is not to present the horrors of the war with the help of demonstrating the firebombing and the struggle of the soldiers, but to focus on the people’s emotions and perceptions because of the necessity to struggle for survival. It is not all suffering and desperation, though. There are magical moments of natural beauty and childish delight, too – which only make the tragedy even more harrowing.