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DEPARTUReS/ Okuribito  

Japan, 2008., 130'


Yôjirô Takita


Masahiro Motoki, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ryoko Hirosue


OSCAR 2009. - Best Foreign Language Film
Awards of the Japanese Academy 2009.
Best actor, cinematography, director, editing, film, lighting, screenplay, sound, supporting actor, supporting actress

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 to look for work. He answers a classified ad entitled "Departures" thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job actually means 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.  

Born in 1955, Yôjirô Takita makes his directorial debut in 1981 with “Chikan Onna Kyoshi”.  In 2001 his special effects fantasy “Onmyoji” (The Ying-Yang Master) stormed the box office and eventually generated a sequel, “Onmyoji 2,” in 2003. This was followed by widespread critical acclaim in 2003 for his historical drama “When the Last Sword is Drawn,” also winning Best Film at the 2004 Japan Academy Awards. His latest films include "Ashura" (2005) and "The Battery" (2007).