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Directed by: Yojiro Takita

131 minutes | PG-13


Friday, January 28, 2011, 7pm - 9pm

Diago Kobayaski, played by Masahiro Motoki, is a cellist from a recently dissolved orchestra. Finding himself without a job, he moves back to his hometown, and soon after answers a classified ad for a listing titled "Departures". Diago finds this to be a job of an encoffiner, a professional who prepares the recently deceased for burial and entry into the next world. The film follows Diago as he acts as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, and how this new profession serves to unravel the mysteries of life and death for him. 

"This is the kind of tastefully poignant drama that asks its audience to confront taboos and then pats them on the back for doing so." - Ty Burr, Boston Globe 

"The plot involves some developments we can see coming, but they seem natural, inevitable. The music is lush and sentimental in a subdued way, the cinematography is perfectly framed and evocative, and the movie is uncommonly absorbing." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (2009)

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