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Fall 2010

Live performance by cellist, Christina Rzepa

still shots from "Departures"Departures

Japan, 2008, 130minutes, Drama
Director: Yôjirô Takita
Japanese with English subtitles.

The story of a young musician forced to leave his dream of a career as a cellist and return to his childhood home in northern Japan.

Needing work, Daigo takes the only job available — something advertised as dealing in “departures.” He quickly discovers his new job is not as a travel agent but a much less conventional position: a mortician. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of "nokanshi," acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living.

Best Foreign Film at 2009 Academy Awards.


»  Trailer.
»  Film website.
»  From Japan, Elegant (and Eloquent) 'Departures', NPR review.
»  The Academy Awards Got It Right With Departures! Review by Andrew Sarris in the New York Observer.


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