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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 33 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 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 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:

$1,542,989, 20 June 2010
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

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.35 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 - 'Choral': IV. Presto, Allegro assai
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful Movie- I disagree with reviews
24 February 2011 | by swang8688See all my reviews

I have read many reviews on this movie and have been surprised by what I saw. I saw many reviews with comments such as this didn't deserve its Oscar win and that this movie was far from a masterpiece because it was too sentimental and exaggerated.One person proposed showing less scenes of him with the cello, speeding up the movie, and cutting out scenes with long stares. I disagree and believe that this movie is beautiful the way it is. This movie is not overbrimming with sentimentality; it has a good amount for such an emotional film. The scenes with the cello and the birds represent the passion and emotions he feel. We don't call Shakespeare's long poems sentimental so why do we call this work of Japanese art that? The more I heard the music I felt like the more I understood the movie. Western movies sometimes disregard time in movies allowing action to follow action. This movie was simply about the meaning of living knowing that we would die. The long, drawn out silences were necessary to convey emotions. If you have studied many Asian cultures, you know that they convey emotions not through words but through silence. The silences give us time to ponder and think about the questions raised, something we are often not given in bang bang action American films.As a musician, I feel like this whole movie is like song filled with much raw emotion.


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