Film as History Film: Graves of the Fireflies by Isao Takahata

Film analysis assignment: Film as History Film: Graves of the Fireflies by Isao Takahata, 1988. Based on an 1967 autobiographical short story by Akiyuki Nosaka. Questions to think about on this film: 1. How do Japanese remember their role in WWII- victim or aggressor? Does this film challenge that narrative? 2. For non-Japanese how does it change their understating of WWII in Asia? 3. Is there an advantage to using anime for such a sensitive topic? 4. Is film a better way for a society to process historical trauma, then say, an academic book? This is not a film review paper. It should be an essay that Analysis on the pros & cons of using film to ‘do’ history. In addition to watching the film, minimum of three books that are solely on the topic of the film is needed for events depicted. In this case, the selected books should talks about Japan in WWII (For example: US Airforce firebombing Tokyo 1945, period of Japan under US occupation and etc) Also, see article ‘Can Movies Teach History’ NYT Nov 26 1989. The paper will be formal written essay with footnotes and bibliography with a total of 2000 words, exclusive of notes and bibliography.

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