Departures, a beautiful journey accompanying the deceased

August 22, 2017

Yesterday, I saw for the 2nd time this wonderful movie about nôkan - a traditional Japanese ritual encoffining ritual.

Called おくりびと (Okuribito - "one who sends off") in Japan, this film from 2008 tells the story of a young man who returns to his hometown after a failed career as a cellist and begins to work as a nôkanshi - a traditional ritual mortician.

I was really moved by this story. It possess many layers and don't only deal with death. In the end, it's not as sad as you can imagine and rather tells a humble lesson of humanity. Played by many great actors, with a beautiful music and the gorgeous mountain landscapes of the Tôhoku region in the background, it's an unforgettable experience. Leave out for a while all your prejudice about people who handles the dead and discover the touching and respectful ritual of nôkan.

Departures was a huge success and became in 2009 the first Japanese production to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

 Credits: For this post, I used the very well-written Wikipedia article about Departures as a reference.

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