Departures

Departures

DVD - 2010 | Japanese
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Daigo Kobayashi is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and finds himself without a job. He decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled 'Departures' thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency. He discovers that the job is actually for a 'Nokanshi' or 'encoffineer,' a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art, acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed.

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e
Edisto
Aug 28, 2018

A beautiful poignant movie. "Departures" is the type of movie you want to share with others and this was the reason I chose it for my foreign film group. Everyone said it was now one of their favorite top 10 movies.

m
mamabadger56
Jul 20, 2018

This is an unusual, very sweet and touching comedy/drama. A young man takes on a job which turns out to be assisting a man who prepares bodies for burial. At first he is disgusted and embarrassed to be involved, and it causes conflicts in his home; but eventually he comes to respect his mentor's way of using his trade to assist grieving families, and finally to appreciate the beauty and value of the work.

a
akirakato
Jul 11, 2018

Directed by Yōjirō Takita in 2008 loosely based on "Coffinman"---a memoir by Shinmon Aoki, this Japanese drama depicts the life of a young man who returns to his hometown after a failed career as a cellist and stumbles across work as a nōkanshi—a traditional Japanese ritual mortician.
Despite Japanese prejudices against those who handle the dead, the film appears profoundly touching the heart of the viewer with a heartwarming ending.
Although I don't like its predictability and overt sentimentality, I admire its humour, the beauty of the encoffining ceremony, and the quality of the acting.

m
midori_hon
Apr 22, 2018

interesting factoid, the actor who portrays the main character was formerly in a very popular boy band. this is a lovely movie about a profession that I've never of happening anywhere, perhaps in the rural outskirts?

a
andleslie
Sep 07, 2017

This is a superb movie, existential, heart-felt, beautiful, and it even has some humor. It really opens your eyes... a must watch!

p
pushofpike
Aug 22, 2017

This is an amazing film.

2
2b4this
Jun 19, 2017

I loved this film and all that it gives to the viewer. The score reflects the "fiction" beautifully.

s
sampark_1
Jan 30, 2017

really makes you think over and over again about life, death, and family.

y
yingchen
Jul 27, 2016

very beautiful.

m
manao
Apr 16, 2016

It's as everyone is saying; original, moving, memorable, and very Japanese.

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nadian Jan 13, 2010

nadian thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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jimg2000
Apr 15, 2016

From IMDb:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1069238/trivia?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu

Yamashita: People are talking.
Daigo Kobayashi: About what?
Yamashita: Get yourself a proper job!
===
Daigo Kobayashi: Long ago, before writing, you'd send someone a stone that suited the way you were feeling. From its weight and touch, they'd know how you felt. From a smooth stone they might get that you were happy, or from a rough one that you were worried about them.

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