Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Tonight, I watched a beautiful Japanese movie, Departures, (2008) by Yojiro Takita. A cellist (played by Masahiro Motoki), forced to make a career change, stumbles into the profession of preparing the deceased for their cremation. It is simply a wonderful film with great, well-performed roles that speaks to dignity, forgiveness, honor, love, and regret; the Japanese way of honoring their dead is absolutely lovely and perfect. I was greatly impressed. I cried at least four times. The story is also about finding your place in the world and a profession that suits you and then taking pride in doing that job right; accepting and supporting the ones you love, and coming to grips with past wrongs; honoring the people who helped you; community; and accepting the step at the end of life that is a gateway to another existence. Ryoko Hirosue and Tsutomu Yamazaki were wonderful in their parts. Kimiko Yo, who plays the secretary, was very good too. Not only were depictions of the ceremonies portrayed beautifully, but the scenery was breathtaking as well. I really encourage people to watch this movie; I am certain you will not be disappointed.

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