Does it have to end happy to be good?

One of my favourite movies of all time is the Grave of the Fireflies. It’s a tragedy, and it lets you know it right from the start. The first time I saw it, I bawled when it ended. Sad stuff about kids has always hit me hard. It’s hard to watch, to see these kids through hardship that they shouldn’t have had to endure.

But it’s such a good movie. It’s that a pandering sort of “oh look at this sad thing, give money” like commercials with sick children put on by fundraising companies that only return a portion to the charity. Sadness is so much more poignant when it’s right next to a celebration of beauty and wonder. It’s a strange feeling to be sad when others are happy.

And it’s so easy to overlook and underplay the things that kids go through.

I can only bring myself to watch it once every few years, because it’s so sad, and so terrible, and just writing about it now is getting me choked up. But it is such a good movie. Highly recommended. Just give yourself some time to recover afterwards.

Does a tragic end invalidate the joyful moments? Or can joy and tragedy coexist?

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