HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
   
 
Newest Articles
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
   
 
  In This Corner of the World A Quiet Life in a stormBuy this film here.
Year: 2016
Director: Sunao Katabuchi
Stars: Rena Nounen, Daisuke Ono, Mayumi Shintani, Megumi Han, Minori Omi, Natsuki Inaba, Shigeru Ushiyama, Yoshimasa Hosoya
Genre: Drama, Animated, Romance, Historical
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Suzu (voiced by Rena Nounen), an innocent eighteen year old girl, lives in wartime Hiroshima with her family. While prone to daydreaming and clumsiness, Suzu develops a talent for drawing pencil sketches that become her greatest joy. One day out of seemingly nowhere a young man Suzu barely knows arrives with a proposal of marriage. In an instant Suzu and Shusuku (Yoshimasa Hosoya) are married and she moves in with his parents. As Shusaku goes to work for the Japanese Navy, Suzu adjusts to a new life helping her new family survive the hardships wrought by the Second World War.

Adapted from the award-winning manga of the same name written and illustrated by Fumiyo Kono, In This Corner of the World is a heartrending and poetic wartime anime drama. Despite having its own unique tone the film is in the tradition of such alternately harrowing and lyrical war memoirs as Barefoot Gen (1983) and Grave of the Fireflies (1988). Here writer-director Sunao Katabuchi builds on the promise shown in his past works Princess Arete (2001) and Mai Mai Miracle (2009) and happily glosses over the anomaly that was Black Lagoon (2007). The plot interweaves episodes detailing the hardships suffered by ordinary working class Japanese during the latter half of the war with a more intimate story charting Suzu's spiritual growth. She is a heroine likely to endear herself as much to a foreign audience as the Japanese as she bumbles through various mishaps and social embarrassments, learning from her mistakes and slowly coming into her own in the face of extreme adversity. Suzu's artistic talent is a vital part of how she interacts with the world at large. Throughout the film Katabuchi utilizes Suzu's sketchbook flights of fancy as a poetic interpretation of daily rural life punctuated by the horrors of war. Most notably an air raid rendered from Suzo's point of view as splashes of vibrant colour on an azure canvas. The notion of art as an extension of the soul is also addressed when the film throws a gut-wrenching twist and we feel the impact of its loss.

In some quarters the film has been criticized for presenting a soft rose-tinted view of wartime Japan. To its credit In This Corner of the World never resorts to the muddled revisionism that mars Rail of the Star (1993). On observing Suzu is more reticent about marriage than the war effort and never questions why Hiroshima has to maintain a naval base at all, a few American critics pondered whether the characters are truly innocent or else willfully ignorant. Yet such criticism does not take into account the reality of Japanese society at the time. It seems plausible that a Japanese working class family mired in poverty and starvation and subject to the rigid social hierarchy of the time would choose to focus on those more immediate issues instead of the big picture.

While the story itself is fictional various episodes are based on factual incidents researched by Katabuchi and his team. Starting in the relatively tranquil atmosphere of the 1930s the film moves deeper and deeper into the turbulent Forties. Here Suzu and her new family are confronted with rationing, the difficulties of life under military rule, air raids and inevitably death. Without trivializing the weight of suffering endured during the war In This Corner of the World manages to deal with such tricky subject matter in a surprisingly buoyant and unconventional way. Take for example the scene where military police harshly reprimand Suzo for innocently sketching warships. What begins as a moment of suspense and public humiliation unexpectedly turns funny, endearing Suzu to her new family as she finally starts to feel at home. Among the most affecting scenes in the film are those showing the community rallying together in the aftermath of increasingly devastating air raids. These of course culminate in the dropping of the first atom bomb on Hiroshima on August sixth, 1945. In its aftermath the plot crafts a deeply Japanese cycle of death and rebirth, drawing a parallel between the collapse of Suzu's relationship with the family and its gradual revival alongside hope itself due to the steadfast resilience of the community.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 109 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: