25 May 2013 4:03 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

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This deeply moving animated movie from Japan's Studio Ghibli is being rereleased (along with My Neighbour Totoro) to mark its 25th anniversary. It's set in the last year of the second world war in a suburb of Tokyo devastated by American fire bombing, leaving the brave teenage Seita to care for his bewildered little sister Setsuko after their mother's death. She's last seen wrapped in blood-stained bandages like a mummy before being cremated. The stylised images suit the simplicity and gravity of a grim story of love, sacrifice and survival in the face of adult indifference and cruelty. It's an accomplished, affecting, relentless work. But seeing The Bridge on the River Kwai on TV a few hours later, I was reminded that there's another side to this story.

AnimationPhilip French

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- Philip French

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My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

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