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"Grave of the Fireflies"

Join us for a rare screening of Isao Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no haka), the acclaimed 1988 anime feature from Japan's esteemed Studio Ghibli. In turns both tender and shattering, touching and often overwhelming, the film follows 14-yr-old Seita and his little 4-yr-old sister Setsuko as they strive to survive the devastating firebombing of Kobe in the last days of World War II. The film will be shown in its original Japanese, with English subtitles.

"Grave of the Fireflies is an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation," writes Roger Ebert, a champion of the film. "Yes, it's a cartoon, and the kids have eyes like saucers… but it belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made."

"Animation allows Takahata to draw performances from his children that no human of equal age could or should be expected to give. It is a film which demands – and deserves – total concentration and emotional surrender. The reward is an experience unlike any other: exhausting, tragic, and utterly bleak, but also somehow monumental." (Tom Huddleston, Time Out).

Tickets are $11 general / $10 youth and seniors / $6 SIFF members, available at the box office or in advance from the SIFF website. Free parking is available in either of the Uptown's two lots (passes available at the box office). More information:

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  • Steve S.

    I've seen this, the saddest animated film ever, on DVD, but I'd like to see it on the big screen.

    February 18, 2013

    • Steve S.

      Oops, I thought I withdrew from this event when we realized how much work we had to do to prepare for our Oscars party. I hope I'm counted as an excused absence.

      February 22, 2013

    • Don

      No problem, we'll catch you next time, Steve.

      February 22, 2013

  • Greg

    FYI, there will probably be a line for this, in which case I'm assuming people should look for Don once they're indoors. Trying to find people in line is always a challenge.

    February 21, 2013

  • Dorothy M. L.

    I'm going to see Kiki's Delivery Service then go to Happy Hour at the Armory. If I'm late I'll go to the 9:30 showing.

    February 21, 2013

  • Don

    The debut of the Seattle Center Armory's "Seattle's Best Damn Happy Hour" (with deals on eats and drinks) commences prior to the screening at 5pm, over at the site of the former food court. More info:

    February 20, 2013

  • Leah H.

    This is actually one of the few movies I'd love to see on the big screen... unfortunately I can't handle seeing it with other people. Mostly because I'll be a bawling mess afterwards. :-/ There aren't many movies I can only watch by myself, but this is the granddaddy of them.

    February 15, 2013

    • Don

      Reminds me that I'll need to bring an XL box of Kleenex -- cuz I'll be a bawling mess, too!

      1 · February 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Does it help to know you won't be alone? :') I'm the same way, but I want to see it on the big screen at least once. I figure there won't be one dry eye at the end anyway...

      2 · February 15, 2013

  • Pat F.

    You are absolutely right Greg. It is a profoundly moving, powerful film. I am sure everyone will have lots to talk afterwards :)

    February 8, 2013

  • Linda K

    I have never seen an anime movie. and one about this topic I feel is one I should catch. But I have to watch my budget, and this is also hard to get to.

    February 4, 2013

  • Greg

    No question. It may be depressing, but it also happens to be one of the greatest films I've ever seen. No way I'm passing up seeing this on the big screen!

    1 · February 4, 2013

  • Pat F.

    Too heartwrenching of a movie. I can't see it again :)

    February 3, 2013

  • Jennifer R.

    so, sorry, I forgot to check and the Residents are in town!

    February 2, 2013

  • Don

    Roger Ebert discusses "Grave of the Fireflies":

    February 2, 2013

  • Don

    Tom Huddleston's essay on seeing "Grave of the Fireflies" for the first time:

    February 2, 2013

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