IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD
Life during wartime…
Instant anime classic.
OUT 28 JUNE
I t’s set in Hiroshima. It takes place during WW2. But this Japanese anime is not a story of nuclear annihilation. Rather, it’s a tale of survival; of a persevering young housewife, Suzu (voiced by Rena Nounen), who comes of age years before the bomb drops.
Adapted from a noughties manga by Sunao Katabuchi (a former Ghibli animator best known for 2009’s Mai Mai Miracle), it’s a tender, sobering film; a moving portrait of the stress endured by the female homefront. Suzu’s fight is not with the Allies – it’s with meagre rations, as she faces a daily battle to feed three generations of her family.
Katabuchi captures this hardship in a hand-drawn style that’s beguilingly beautiful. There’s a striking contrast between the foreground – all bright greens and gentle blues – and the cold greys of warfare in the distance. When air raids do come, the blacks and oranges are jolting. The attacks finally break Suzu’s spirit. And when the horror becomes too much, the film ‘breaks’ as well, with white lines dancing across a black canvas, crumbling before they can form concrete shapes. The implication is clear: there’s no easy way to convey this kind of suffering. Stephen Kelly
An exquisite portrait of Hiroshima before the bomb that conjures a powerful sense of what – and who – was lost.
The warm blues skies of a happier, if still tough, time in Hiroshima. Certificate TBC DIrect or Sunao Katabuchi Starring
Rena Nounen, Megumi Han Screenplay Sunao Katabuchi
Dist ributoR National Amusements Running time 128 mins (TBC)