February 29th, 2016

Howl

Why, oh, why didn't we listen to The Boy?

Years ago, literally, years ago, we got a copy of Grave of the Fireflies. He made us promise to not watch it without him. Last night, we broke that promise and watched it. Oh my freaking word, what a horrific movie about the cost of war on its youngest victims.

It starts with "This is the night I died." That should have been a clue. It opens with a young Japanese boy in a train station, dying from neglect. Then we go back in time to when he and his toddler sister are separated from their mother, who dies in a fire bombing of their city. He goes to his aunt's house in a nearby town, but she is shrewish and horrible to them, taking their food and abusing them. The boy discovers that his mother had some money in the bank and it's his hope that they can live on it until his father, a soldier, returns from war. They end up living in an abandoned shelter on the edge of town. Things go from bad to worse and when he discovers his father is dead, he returns to the shelter, only to discover his sister near death from malnutrition. He had bought food, but it was too little to late and he loses her. His last words were: "She never woke up."

Ye gods, I'm tearing up even now. It was factual and without sugar coating anything. It's terrible to think about and yet it is part of our past. Think I need to watch My Neighbor Totoro tonight.

Have you ever done something like this?