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  • 2 weeks later...

Not a movie but something that always gets me... Les Miserables.

There's a new DVD of the recent 25th Anniversary concert.

I just love that music. Well, lots of it anyway.

There's a few points in there that I can't help but have a good sniffle.


Seen in 7 times in the theater.

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  • 1 month later...



I understood it enough to be quite moved by it.

Wasn't particularly keen to watch it but soon got into it and it was very good.



Departures (ãŠãã‚Šã³ã¨, Okuribito?) is a 2008 Japanese film by YÅjirÅ Takita. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Oscars in 2009. In Japan, it has earned $61,010,217, as of April 12, 2009.


Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki), a cellist in Tokyo, loses his job. He decides to move back to his hometown, Sakata, Yamagata, with his wife Mika (RyÅko Hirosue).


Back home, Daigo finds a advertisement for "assisting departures". He goes to the interview, uncertain of the job's nature. He is hired on the spot after only one question ("Will you work hard?") and being handed an "advance" by his new boss Sasaki (Tsutomu Yamazaki). He discovers that the job involves preparing the dead. Daigo reluctantly accepts. He returns to his wife with sukiyaki for a celebration, but he tells her he will be performing some sort of ceremony.


On his first day, he is made to act as a corpse in a DVD explaining the procedure. His first assignment is to clean, dress and apply cosmetics to the body of an aged woman who has died alone at home, remaining undiscovered for two weeks. He is beset with nausea, and humiliated when strangers on the bus detect an unsavory scent. He goes to a public bath to wash off. Daigo is spotted by Yamashita, an old schoolfriend.


Daigo completes a number of assignments and experiences the gratitude of those left behind, gaining a sense of fulfillment. But Mika finds the DVD and begs him to give up such a "disgusting profession." Daigo refuses to quit, so she leaves him. Even Yamashita tells him to get "a proper job."


After a few months, Daigo's wife returns, announcing that she is pregnant. She seems to assume that he will get a different job. While Daigo and Mika try to work things out, the telephone rings with the news that Tsuyako, Yamashita`s mother, has died. In front of Yamashita, his family and Mika, Daigo prepares her body. The ritual earns the respect of all present. During cremation, Tsuyako's friend appears as the cremator. He thinks that death is not the "end" but the "gate to a next stage". Afterwards, Daigo goes to the river and finds a small stone to give to Mika. He tells her about "stone-letters", a story told to him by his father.


They are informed of the elder Kobayashi's death. He refuses to see him, but Daigo's coworker convinces him to go, confessing that she herself abandoned her son in Hokkaido when he was only six. Sasaki invites him to take one of the display coffins. Daigo and Mika go to see the body of his father, but Daigo finds that he cannot recognize him. As the funeral workers carelessly handle the body, he angrily stops them, and his wife explains that her husband is a professional. As he handles the dressing of the body, Daigo finds the stone-letter he had given to his father when he was little, in his father's hands. He at last recognizes his father. As he finishes the ceremony, Daigo gently presses the stone-letter to Mika's pregnant belly.

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