‘In This Corner of the World’ Review

08.18.17
Mappa
Entertainment /18 Aug 2017
08.18.17

‘In This Corner of the World’ Review

There’s something hypnotic about the hand-drawn animation of writer/director Sunao Katabuchi’s In This Corner of the World, based on the 2007-09 Japanese manga (comic) by Fumiyo Kouno. With some similarities to Takahata’s 1988 classic Grave of the Fireflies, it’s more than a wartime drama – it’s a story of the human spirit.

It’s 1935 and Suzu is a young girl who lives in Eba, a town in Hiroshima. She is an exceptional artist with a vibrant imagination and an adventurous approach to life. Her innocence & pleasant childhood existence is rocked when, as a teenager, she receives an out-of-the-blue marriage proposal from a stranger. Life with his family in Kure forces Suzu into a daily routine of cleaning, mending and cooking – all while longing for her family in Eba.

The film clicks through the months and years, and provides a history of war time from the perspective of a family and village. While the date of August 6, 1945 hovers on the viewer’s mind, we experience how family dynamics are affected by war time. For Suzu, her daily routines such as food preparation provide a necessary structure and distraction, despite the ever-worsening shortage of food and supplies. These stresses are compounded by air raid warnings over the radio and Suzu suffers through vivid nightmares.

We so easily connect with Suzu as she continually fights through hardships – both physical and emotional – because of her determination to live a good life and overcome all obstacles. This is such expert story telling with a beautiful presentation, that the film periodically reminds us that war is close by. Even in a war torn country, the people must find a way to go about daily life, while treasuring the rare moments of joy and understanding the strength of togetherness. It’s rare that an animated movie can deliver such a humanist look at fully formed characters and their feelings…all within a historical setting.

  • The Veiled Threat: Australia’s Campaign Against New Zealand Refugee Policy

  • The Saudi Purge: The Parallel between Populism and Authoritarianism

  • Trump in Asia

  • Idiot Voters and Trolling the Internet: Russia, Social Media Giants and U.S. Elections

  • Trans-Pacific Follies: Australia Asleep as Canada Wakes Up

  • Big Tobacco Feeds Latin American Corruption

  • America’s Use of Torture: The Need to find Justice

  • The Senate Papers: America and Torture

  • The Tragic Declaration: Colonial Legacies, Balfour and Israel

  • Ukraine: A State Run by the Rich, for the Rich

  • It Is Called Hope! Why We Should Keep the U.S. Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

  • The History of Linking Black Rights Movements to Russia