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Departures (Okuribito) (2008)Departures (Okuribito) (2008)

Departures (Okuribito) (2008)

An elegant and sentimental film about a reluctant cellist becoming a mortician.

Drama

best
THE VERY BEST

9.0

movie

Japan

Japanese

Challenging, Dramatic, Original

2008

Yōjirō Takita

Justin Lukach, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Kimiko Yo

130 min

Synopsis

Daigo, a cellist, is laid off from his orchestra and moves with his wife back to his small hometown where the living is cheaper. Thinking he’s applying for a job at a travel agency he finds he’s being interviewed for work with departures of a more permanent nature – as an undertaker’s assistant.

Our Take

9.0
Bilal Zouheir

In 2009, Departures surprised everybody by winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, instead of everyone’s favourite, Ari Folman’s Waltz of Bashir. This is even more surprising since this Japanese comedy almost never saw the light of day because many distributors refused to release it at first for its humorous treatment of a very human, but weirdly taboo subject: what happens when you die. Daigo Kobayashi (played by former boyband member Masahiro Motoki) just bought an expensive cello when he learns that his Tokyo-based symphony orchestra is going bankrupt. Daigo and his wife Mika, played by Ryôko Hirosue, decide to move back to his hometown, where he applies for an opening at what he thinks is a travel agency, hence the departures. You might have guessed by now that what he was applying for was, in fact, the job of an undertaker—a profession considered unclean in Japan. It’s one of those rare movies that will make you laugh, to making you cry, and laugh again. It’s dead-on!

Comments

M
melavin

This is one of the best movies you will ever watch.

S
Sharron

My husband and I stumbled on to this treasure–love, life and death treated with care and subtle humor. An absolute surprise and one of our favorite foreign films.

S
Sara Osama

You may watch hundreds of movies and forget them ,only few movies would affect you and stick to your memory .. this masterpiece is one of these few. it takes your mind in a journey full of highly detailed scenes with a wonderful music that tells a lot and provoke intense emotions without a single ward .
departures is very honest, tender and realistic movie it discusses death. and although death is the only fact in our lives it is still a confusing and disturbing issue ,so how would be your life if you see death face to face every day !! the philosophy of death and life and how to accept it .simply it is a highly recommended movie.

P
Pat

I saw Departures years ago and it overwhelmed me with the tender respect it gave such taboo subject. One of my all time favorites.

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