In This Corner of the World

PG-13 7.8
2016 2 hr 10 min Animation , Drama , History , Romance , War

Japan, 1943, during World War II. Young Suzu leaves her village near Hiroshima to marry and live with her in-laws in Kure, a military harbor. Her creativity to overcome deprivation quickly makes her indispensable at home. Inhabited by an ancestral wisdom, Suzu impregnates the simple gestures of everyday life with poetry and beauty. The many hardships, the loss of loved ones, the frequent air raids of the enemy, nothing alters her enthusiasm…

  • Cast:
    Non , Daisuke Ono , Mayumi Shintani , Megumi Han , Natsuki Inaba , Shigeru Ushiyama , Yoshimasa Hosoya

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Reviews

Lawbolisted
2016/11/12

Powerful

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KnotStronger
2016/11/13

This is a must-see and one of the best documentaries - and films - of this year.

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Brendon Jones
2016/11/14

It’s fine. It's literally the definition of a fine movie. You’ve seen it before, you know every beat and outcome before the characters even do. Only question is how much escapism you’re looking for.

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Aubrey Hackett
2016/11/15

While it is a pity that the story wasn't told with more visual finesse, this is trivial compared to our real-world problems. It takes a good movie to put that into perspective.

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The Movie Diorama
2016/11/16

Japanese animation commonly use World War II as a backdrop for their characters enriched with traditionalisms and virtuous optimism, Ghibli are renowned for it with 'Grave of the Fireflies' and 'The Wind Rises'. Katabuchi manages to encapsulate a coming-of-age drama with historical significance resulting in a hauntingly resonating experience, albeit occasionally stumbling with its own sporadically structured narrative. A young woman is forced into marriage and moves from her rural family village to the bustling city of Kure where she must learn to overcome adulthood amidst the chaos of war. Admirably, what sets this apart from similar dramas is the nuanced undertone of diligence. Chronicling a large portion of one female's life, thrusted into an unadjusted foreign environment, we see this character develop from an innocent girl who loves drawing landscapes to a hardworking woman who tackles ordinary chores. Suzu becomes a commendable personality, a microcosm representing the civilians of Japan and their enduring communal spirit. The animation is gorgeous. Ranging from hand drawn characters expressively showing their emotions to water coloured landscapes depicting the natural beauty of Japan. Various animation changes are injected throughout, particularly during a pivotal scene involving the tragic loss of a child. It is moving in parts, especially the third act, where key events during the war take place such as the Hiroshima bomb explosion. The excess violence is substituted for a more gentle approach, however there are specific frames that illustrate the brutal effects of war. Unfortunately, Katabuchi's narrative structure seems haphazard, as if he is purposefully attempting to convey Suzu's absent mind. Many scenes do not naturally flow and the constant time shifts made the pacing incredibly inconsistent. It just felt unnecessarily frantic. In saying that though, the majestic art style and thematic story certainly negate these detriments.

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phoenix 2
2016/11/17

I would divide this anime into two parts: the first one was dedicated to the girl's early life, marriage and family. The second, the most emotional one, focuses on how simple citizens were affected by the war. The story itself is simple, with no as much of a surprise as to what will happen. But, because it's humane and simple, it captures the audience's attention. Easy to follow and easy to sympathise with the heroes, the movie doesn't overdo it with the war horrors, though the bombing scenes were too long. But, then again, maybe they had to in order to show what the civilians had to go through. I also enjoyed the fact that it wasn't just a historical film, but it also followed the girl's story and her relationship with her new family and her husband. One thing that didn't work for me, however, was that at some points the movie just rushed things and got a bit confusing, like showing one scene after the other. But, overall, a great movie, so 7 out of 10.

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Poochface
2016/11/18

I couldn't engage with this and almost walked out several times especially as it was very bitty. The style jarred and I soon grew bored with the rapid changing of scenes as the dates went by.Obviously once you hear the word Hiroshima, you know this isn't going to be a happy little animated film. In all honesty, it was only towards the end when the bomb is dropped, that my interest piqued.I can see that my opinion is in the minority but I feel I must post to bring some balance to the overwhelming positive reviews. This could have been so much better.

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Red-Barracuda
2016/11/19

I have previously seen the harrowing Japanese anime Grave of the Fireflies (1988) which depicted the horrors of World War II on Japanese civilians. This brilliant film remains the only Studio Ghibli film to not be distributed by Disney – it was too disturbing for them. With In This Corner Of The World we have a new take on the subject of life in wartime Japan. While this one did not have the impact of the earlier movie for me, it was still a very impressive bit of work. It specifically follows a family in the year leading up to the 6th of August 1945 when the Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. The action, however, takes place in Kure, a city nearby.The war is very much in the periphery of the story. Ominously hovering in the background with battleships silently moving into the harbour, military police active on the ground and air raids occurring regularly by the American military. While the horrors of war do escalate, much of the run-time is devoted to the family drama and this is perhaps the one weakness of the film, as the domestic drama isn't entirely compelling and a bit meandering. It means that we don't get as involved with the characters as much as we should and it could perhaps have been trimmed down a little at the very least. However, this negative has to be offset by the positive in the way that the story does examine the lives of ordinary people during this time. We also have the constant advance of time towards what we know to be that fateful August day and knowing what is to come actually generates even more tension than not knowing. When the moment finally arrives, it is understated in a way that is incredibly sinister. A silent white flash, a tremor and then a huge odd-looking cloud in the distance. It is a far cry from the usual way in which nuclear strikes are depicted in films but its very distance and unspectacular presentation creates a curious melancholic and depressing feeling which was quite powerful I thought. The artwork throughout is beautiful – this is a film which could easily pass itself off as a Ghibli product – and it doesn't pull its punches when it depicts some of the horrors of the aftermath of the 'new bomb'. Overall, this is another powerful and artistically strong bit of animation from Japan.

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