Director: Isao Takahata. 89 min. Unrated. Japan. Animation.
"September 21, 1945; that was the night I died." When a cartoon (of all forms of media) starts with that line, you know you're in for something deep. But then watching this flashback-driven animated feature, about a teenage boy and his little sister fighting hunger in war-torn Japan, it dawned upon me how animation was probably the only way to tell this story, as only the lively colors and stark contrast of animation could enrich the drama; something impossible to achieve with live action. Not only a sad and heart-breaking cartoon, but one of the saddest films I'd ever seen.
PS #1: You can watch the full animated feature on YouTube here, although the resolution is probably not the best.
PS #2: Thank you, Ali S., for recommending yet another great animation.