Director Yojiro Takita
Genre Drama
Runtime 130 minutes
Supplier Regent Releasing
Festivals/Awards Academy Award® Winner - Best Foreign Language Film 2009
Release Date In theatres on June 12, 2009
DVD/Blu-ray available on November 30, 2009


Departures follows Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki), a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and who is suddenly left 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.

Academy Award® Winner - Best Foreign Language Film 2009


Cast & Credits

Daigo Kobayashi Masahiro Motoki
Ikuei Sasaki Tsutomu Yamazaki
Mika Kobayashi Ryôko Hirosue

Press & Articles

“"Departures': Sentimental journey” - The Toronto Star

“'Departures' Review” - Chicago Sun-Times

“'Departures': 5 out of 5 stars” - Orlando Sentinel

“Comedy among the corpses in Departures” - London Evening Standard

“Confronting death -- gently” - The Boston Globe


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