Foreign Film Series: Everyone has a corner of the world

By Thomas J. Cromer

(The following review will contain light spoilers)

Music and Animation-

The theme song of the film “In This Corner of the World” is called “Kanashikute Yarikirenai” which at first listen sounds peaceful, beautiful and softer than it really is. One of the lines of the song in English is “Today, once again, I look to the distance and cry.” This contrast serves as a good introduction to “In this Corner of the World,” which has plenty of happy moments but also shows the tragedy that happens in the lives of those who live through war. 

This also fits with the animation of “In This Corner of the World” which is mostly clean and beautiful. There are several different types of animation styles in this film, including some scenes from the main character’s point of view, using her comparisons of her experiences to things that she recognizes, such as drops of paint. 

Setting and Characters-

The film takes us through a wide window of time between 1935 through about 1946 and takes place in two different cities, Hiroshima and Kure. Throughout the film we see the good and bad days in Suzu’s life, starting from her childhood in Hiroshima and continuing through her marriage in Kure. Throughout her life, she faced many tragedies that are given by the nature of war, such as losing family members and the trauma that comes with it. In one of the scenes, we listen to the flood of thoughts that sometimes happens when we face loss, which seems like it shifts us away into the chaotic waves of her mind. Like Suzu, we can also end up blaming ourselves when tragedy hits, as we face thoughts that let us know that we could have done so many different things and some that undermine our sense of worth. 


I think the most impactful line in the film is one that talks about how pain and suffering doesn’t change everything. As Suzu sees a butterfly after the devastation that the war has caused, she remarks  about the strange beauty that butterflies still fly. This line reflects that it is sometimes easier to take our pain and turn it into a bitter view of the world, but it is important to our health and our soul to take a break between what is around us, anything from simple stress to a warzone, and recognize the beauty in the world that remains in every aspect. Though it may seem hard to recognize that life will go on and the world will keep turning, this can give us some peace through the suffering.

Conclusion and Rating-

A major point of application from  “In This Corner of the World” for Christians is how we should respond to other people in war zones. In the film we are shown the tragedy that people in war are faced with everyday.The risk of death, losing loved ones such as children and parents, getting PTSD and sometimes a loss of morals and loss of the social fabric that holds society together are everyday realities.

The film was very good, though there were a few scenes and statements that I have disagreements with. The music and animation together makes a beautiful and emotional journey that effectively gives us a story worthwhile to at least view once.It is historically accurate and helps the viewer humanize a nation in a period where we tended to reduce them to a simple enemy, and that we should remember all the tragedies that happened during war. Everything was done by humans, no more or no less than the rest of us. Forgetting to see the human side of who we interpret to be our enemies sets us up to repeat these nightmares of human history and makes it harder to draw the line between innocence and real threats.

We should recognize the suffering of all citizens in a conflict. As Christians, we should have a desire for those who are suffering to have peace for their pain. Sometimes that comes for aid given, and even when direct aid is impossible,  we are to pray for peace that God bless the works of churches and missionaries in the area and also that the citizens of the nations stay safe. To put it simply, we should lament for people that are both saved and lost and for the citizens of both sides involved in war, because we are all put in the corner of the world that God chose for us.

Thomas J. Cromer is a freshman social studies education major from southern Ohio. Throughout his years he’s gained many different interests and life lessons, including a love for media, history and trying to write.

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