Director Sunao Katabuchi brings In This Corner of the World, the story of Suzu, a young woman with a love of drawing and stories, to the screen.
The film is an adaptation of the manga series written and illustrated by Fumiyo Kono.
While the film starts with Suzu’s earlier childhood, the most part follows eighteen year old Suzu as she marries and starts her adult life in the early 1940s.
The day to day details of life for her family, including the hardships of food shortages and rationing, air raids, and having family members drafted into the military, are all recorded in this seemingly simple, yet compelling tale.
The beautiful animation alone creates a captivating spectacle. Suzu, being an artist and a dreamer, often looks at the world as though through rose-tinted glasses, choosing to find the beauty in what might otherwise be a less than perfect day. The softer greens and browns used frequently in the animation give a natural and calming feeling to the overall imagery. The animators continue this trend by highlighting the things Suzu sees, looking with the eyes of an artist.
This by no means diminishes the serious undertones of the story.
Being based in World War 2 Japan, all is obviously not perfect. The balance created between the beauty and terror, and how Suzu and the other characters choose to react to their situations, and how often they chose to seek out joy in harsh times shows the strength of humanity in the face of adversity.
In This Corner of the World is an overall captivating and touching story, giving unique insight into the life of another time and culture.
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