Film notes and reviews » 2011/12 season » Departures, January 2012

Departures, January 2012

Japan 2009. Director: Yojiro Takita.

Certificate 12

The 2009 Oscar winner for the best foreign movie, this work examines the rituals around death in Japan, a story which, ironically, is ultimately highly life affirming.

The story is of a cellist in a large orchestra who loses his job, and accidently becomes a trainee in a funeral parlour. He develops a respect for the process after some hilarious moments, and shows a talent for gentle understanding of grief, as the gatekeeper between life and death.

In the end he impresses his friends and his wife who initially despised him for the work.

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