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Departures (2008)

Okuribito (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, Music | 19 June 2009 (USA)
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A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals.

Director:

Yôjirô Takita

Writer:

Kundô Koyama (screenplay)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 36 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Masahiro Motoki ... Daigo Kobayashi
Tsutomu Yamazaki ... Ikuei Sasaki
Ryôko Hirosue ... Mika Kobayashi
Kazuko Yoshiyuki Kazuko Yoshiyuki ... Tsuyako Yamashita
Kimiko Yo ... Yuriko Uemura
Takashi Sasano Takashi Sasano ... Shokichi Hirata
Tetta Sugimoto Tetta Sugimoto ... Yamashita
Tôru Minegishi Tôru Minegishi ... Yoshiki Kobayashi
Tatsuo Yamada Tatsuo Yamada ... Togashi
Yukari Tachibana Yukari Tachibana
Tarô Ishida Tarô Ishida ... Sonezaki
Sanae Miyata Sanae Miyata ... Naomi Togashi
Ryôsuke Ôtani Ryôsuke Ôtani ... Tomeo's father
Mitsuyo Hoshino Mitsuyo Hoshino ... Kazuko Kobayashi
Tatsuhito Okuda
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The gift of last memories

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

19 June 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Departures See more »

Filming Locations:

Sakata, Yamagata, Japan

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,194,799 (Japan), 14 September 2008, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,945, 29 May 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,498,210

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$69,932,387
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Masahiro Motoki also learned how to play a cello for the earlier parts of the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Daigo Kobayashi: [voice over narration] When I was a child winter didn't feel so cold. It's nearly two months since I moved home from Tokyo. It's been an awkward time.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: The Worst Films of 2009 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Wiegenlied, Op.49, No.4
Written by Johannes Brahms
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Beautiful and Full of Sentiments Story about Life and Death
18 August 2009 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In Tokyo, the violoncellist Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) loses his job when the sponsor dissolves his orchestra. Deigo decides to return to his hometown Yamagata with his wife Mika (Ryoko Hirosue) to live in the house that his mother, who has just passed away, left for him. While seeking a job in the newspaper, he finds an advertisement entitled Departures in the NK Agency and he schedules an interview believing it is a travel agency. However, he finds out that the position is to work in a funeral business as a sort of undertaker that prepares the corpse for cremation and the afterlife. While Mika and his friends look down on his job, Daigo feels proud with the recognition of the families of the diseased persons with his work. When the owner of the bathhouse Tsurunoyu dies, Mika finally recognizes the beauty of the artistic work of Daigo. When they are informed that his absent father has died alone in a fishing village, Daigo resolves his innermost issues with him.

The winner of Best Foreign Language Film of 2009 "Okuribito" is a touching movie with a beautiful and full of sentiments story about life and death. The idea of death as a gateway to the afterlife has been explored in many movies; but in "Okuribito" it is disclosed in an artistic and beautifully sad way, through a dramatic and respectful but never corny relationship with the families of the diseased person. This wonderful movie was awarded with thirty-one (31) wins and three (3) nominations to several film festivals, and is supported by an original screenplay based on the rich Japanese culture that brings the most different and antagonistic feelings to the viewer; magnificent direction and performances of the lead and support cast; fantastic cinematography, lighting and art direction; and a stunning and stylish music score. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "A Partida" ("The Departure")


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