This is the first in a series of foreign films shown at the local library. The purpose is to learn about different cultures through the tales they show in their films. The subject in “Departures” is the rituals of death practiced in Japan and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film of 2009. It is the tale of an out of work cellist who in desperation accepts the job of “encoffineer” (Japanese equivalent of an undertaker,) to provide for himself and his young wife. Daigo,the protagonist, grows in the job as he realizes the importance of the position of gatekeeper between life and death. He gains greater appreciation for life as he learns that he is giving the proper send-off from this state of being to the next.
The music was written especially for the film and prominently features the cello There is great growth and emotional connection in this story of family, love, discovery, hope , and death. It brought tears to many of the viewers and certainly to me! All that sniffling means I really connected and loved it!
This Is Departures!