It’s weird sitting through an entire movie knowing an atomic bomb is going to be dropped at some point.
In This Corner of the World presents WW2 through a lens I hadn’t seen before. And I don’t mean as an American looking inward at the Japanese experience.
It actually presents war in a way I hadn’t seen before.
I first heard about In This Corner of the World while looking up how many awards your name. had won. I kept seeing second place. …Second place. Runner-up. After unabashedly bawling each of the seven times I saw your name., I dared the internet to reveal what had usurped my treasured movie. And now I see why.
In this Corner of the World tells the tale of a young girl, Suzu, who moves from her town of Hiroshima to Kure for an arranged marriage. Kure happens to be on a coastline, which is incredibly vital to Japan in the war. The movie does a phenomenal job of keeping the war aspect of the movie at bay until all the characters have wriggled their way into your hearts. And then, the air raid signals go off. And they keep going off, night after night, lulling you in much like it’s lulling the characters in the movie. Like the boy who cried wolf.
But, this is a war movie—the wolf shows up eventually.
To be truthful, before today, the only other WWII movie I had seen covering the Japanese experience was Grave of the Fireflies. But where Grave of the Fireflies is about survival, In This Corner of the World is about perseverance. And it’s what makes this movie shine in my eyes. Instead of showing fear and people huddled together, they showed people living despite the war.