Lifestyle: Film review of Departures

This is one seriously beautiful film in both story line, acting and cinematography. A stunning piece that presents death in a dignified, tender, new light. It is a shame that our traditional treatment of the dead is so far removed from this. Incredibly powerful viewing and a real yogic take on something that could be considered rather macabre in other circumstances; the personalities and the bodies have gone, now the preparations are made as the timeless soul is moving on.

Daigo Kobayashi is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and now finds himself without a job. Daigo 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 only to discover 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 of “Nokanshi,” acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living. Written by Regent Releasing