Light of the River

Director(s): Tetsuo Hirakawa
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese w/ English subtitles
Animation | 2009 | 75 min
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Recommended for ages 8+ (Parental Guidance: Threatening situations without harm)

This beautiful and warmhearted adventure once again demonstrates that some of the best animated films come from Japan. A loving family of river rats is driven from its riverbank home by a human construction project. Needing to find a new place to live, a father and his two young sons, Tarta and Chichi, negotiate the everyday yet unexpected dangers of a city, surviving only with the timely help of a string of unlikely friends: a dog, a cat, a sparrow, and a wise sewer-rat. Kids will delight in the eager, irrepressible Chichi, who treats their journey as a fun adventure and who has a knack for getting into trouble. Throughout, gentle lessons unfold about balancing trust and caution, coping with loss and longing, and discovering one’s strengths and proper home — all set against the backdrop of a disconnected human world unaware of its impact on nature.