Thursday, October 17, 2013


By chance, I ran across "Departures" on Netflix and watched it without knowing anything about it.

For those who care, the movie won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009. I didn't know that before I watched.

Wikipedia describes the story line this way:
The film concerns the historic Japanese "encoffining" ceremony (called a nōkan) in which professional morticians ritually dress and prepare bodies before they are placed in coffins. Although the film follows contemporary themes, the practice is now rarely performed; limited mainly to rural areas where older traditions are maintained.
The theme may sound intrusively weighty, but after a rickety beginning, I found the movie lovely and touching in credible ways ... quiet and steady and serious (not solemn) ... without any of the cheap tricks that might have been played.

It reminded me a bit of tea ceremony -- the line between wonder and weeping deliciously blurred.

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