Departures

DEPARTURES (E1, 2008) D: Yojiro Takita, w/.


DEPARTURES (E1, 2008) D: Yojiro Takita, w/ Masahiro Motoki, Tsutomu Yamazaki. Rating: NNNNN DVD package: NNN Rating: NNNNN


An unemployed young cellist finds work as an encoffiner, a job that involves ritually washing and dressing the dead in the presence of the mourners and brings him face to face with his own shame, social disapproval and feelings for his absent father.

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As director Yojiro Takita points out in his brief interview, death is a subject we’d much rather avoid. Accordingly, he takes a light-handed approach with likeable characters, occasional humorous touches – the encoffiners love to eat – a lovely cello score and casually graceful compositions. The winner of last year’s foreign-language-film Oscar features a slow buildup and release of gentle, powerful and complex emotion.

EXTRAS Director interview. Widescreen. Japanese audio. English subtitles.

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