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Animé Anti-war Film 'Grave of the Fireflies'
to Screen at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: March 27, 2009

poster for Grave of the FirefliesEAU CLAIRE — "Grave of the Fireflies" (Japan 1988), an animé masterpiece regarded as one of the greatest anti-war films of all time, will screen April 2-5 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Directed by Isao Takahata, longtime colleague and mentor of Hayao Miyazaki, the film will screen at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre. Admission is free and open to all.

The film begins with the statement, "September ninth, 1945 ... That was the day I died." In the final days of World War II, Japan is firebombed incessantly by Allied planes. A 14-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister lose their home and their mother and take refuge in an abandoned bomb shelter in the countryside. What follows is a tale of the struggle to survive amid the atrocity of war.

"'Grave of the Fireflies' is an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation," wrote Roger Ebert, who lists it among his Great Movies. "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."

Adapted from the semi-autobiographical novel by Akyuki Nosaka, the film was written and directed by Isao Takahata, one of the most celebrated creators of animated Japanese films. Takahata is the mentor of Hayao Miyazaki ("Spirited Away"); together they founded Studio Ghibli.

The University Activities Commission of the Student Senate will present the 89-minute film, which is subtitled in English and not rated.

Visit the Web site or the Activities and Programs office, Room 133 in Davies Center, for more information about the campus film series.

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JS/NW

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