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Departures [Blu-ray] [2008]

Masahiro Motoki , Tsutomu Yamazaki , Yjir Takita  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (241 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Masahiro Motoki, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ryoko Hirosue, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Kimiko Yo
  • Directors: Yjir Takita
  • Producers: Departures (2008) ( Okuribito ), Departures (2008), Okuribito
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, PAL
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (241 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0038AL7EW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,635 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B : it WILL NOT play on regular DVD player, or on standard US Blu-Ray player. You need multi-region Blu-Ray player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: Japanese ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), Japanese ( Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Documentary, Interactive Menu, Making Of, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Director Yojiro Takita and writer Kundo Koyama examine the rituals surrounding death in Japan with this tale of an out-of-work cellist who accepts a job as a 'Nokanashi' or 'encoffineer' (the Japanese equivalent of an undertaker) in order to provide for himself and his young wife. Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) is a talented musician, but when his orchestra is abruptly disbanded, he suddenly finds himself without a source of steady income. Making the decision to move back to his small hometown, Daigo answers a classified ad for a company called 'Departures', mistakenly assuming that he will be working for a travel agency. Upon discovering that he will actually be preparing the bodies of the recently deceased for their trip to the afterlife, Daigo accepts the position as gatekeeper between life and death and gradually gains a greater appreciation for life. But while Daigo's wife and friends universally despise his new line of work, he takes a great amount of pride in the fact that he is helping to ensure that the dead receive a proper send-off from this state of being. This thought-provoking look at life and death was Japan's submission for the Oscars in 2008. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Oscar Academy Awards, ...Departures (2008) ( Okuribito )

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
136 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece March 8, 2011
A lengthy review is not required for this film. It was simple, profound and beautiful.

I consider myself to be a hard and somewhat jaded man, having survived war and traveling far in my life. This film awakened long-buried emotions.

I wept.
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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Japanese films have always had the remarkable reputation of turning the simplest premise into something so full of moving emotions and sensibilities. Yojiro Takita's multi-award winning film "DEPARTURES" (2008) is no different. There is a lot of excessive hype surrounding the film as it has almost nearly swept the Japanese Academy awards and has been awarded the Best Foreign film honor in the recent 2009 Oscars. No film can live up to the hype it has gotten, but I have to say it has earned each and every recognition; well deserving of the commercial success it had achieved in its native land.

Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) is a cello player whose dream is shattered when the orchestra he is playing with goes broke. Left with no choice but to sell his prized cello, Daigo together with his wife Mika (beauteous Ryoko Hirosue) returns to his hometown to live in his mother's old house. In need of a new job, Daigo responds to an ad in the local paper for a job in "Departures", thinking that it may be related to travel. But much to his surprise and dismay, Daigo discovers that he had applied for a profession as an `Encofineer'; a man who performs the delicate and traditional Japanese ritual of preparing the bodies of the deceased for the departure to the next life--it pays quite well, and without even thinking about it, he accepts without even giving his wife the details of his new job.

It is not often that we become privy to a film about the beautifying of corpses, director Takita takes on the grim subject matter and gives it a commercial charm and appeal. The direction is quite meticulous in exposing the world of the mortician as we become witnesses to the Japanese customs and traditions as to how they deal with their dead.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Amazon has a limit of five stars in its rating system. If I could, this 2008 film - which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film - would get SIX. It is the perfect blend of story, visuals and music!

You probably know already that this is the story of a "downsized" cello player who finds a job as an encofineer ( the men who add the makeup and garments to deceased persons before the are cremated.) I hope you don't know more, as it will really destroy the surprises in store for you as this beautiful film unfolds. I won't even give it a long review for that reason. The music all revolves around the cello and the score (which features 13 cells playing together over the end titles) is reminiscent of what Michael Nyman composed for the film "The Piano". The cinematography is gorgeous. There is no blood and no violence. Death comes naturally here and there is beauty in the dressing.

The subtitles are in yellow below the image and easy to read. And the dialogue is never fast, so you don't need to rush to read them. The DVD contains an interesting 11-minute interview with the Director (which is translated verbally into English as well as in English subtitles.). Don't watch the interview until after you see the film. It will spoil some of enjoyment.

This is a film that is appropriate for older teens and may actually lead to some interesting discussions of the humanity of death. But don't let that dissuade you from seeing it. Its just a BEAUTIFUL loving musically rich film.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of Life and Love April 27, 2010
I don't know what more I can say about this stunning film that hasn't been said. It was the surprise winner of the '08 Oscar for Foreign Language Film, so I was compelled to rent it. Best move I've made. After research, this film won every Japanese Academy Award, as well as many other Asian film awards. This is a film about life, and the love story adds to the beauty of the goings on. Indeed, death is part of life, and I would wish I'd be put to rest in as dignified a procedural as depicted here. Despite the morbid suggestion, there is lots of humor to alleviate the serious tone, and it also lets one know, rather encourages one, to let those you love to KNOW it before it's too late. I adored this film for it's simplicity, truth and absolute honesty. I was quite blown away.Acting is impeccable, and direction is perfect. There's a sweetness that makes you want to watch it again. DVD extras are fine. I recommend this film to all, without reservation.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Things That Matter February 3, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As others have so aptly stated, many words cannot convey the beauty of this definite masterpiece of a movie.
One of the greatest movies, I believe, of the last 50 years. Finally, a recent movie without any weapons, no chase scenes, NOT action-packed, NO buildings exploding. It's about peace, forgiveness, a hidden sense of a supreme being behind the reasons of LOVE for the only operating principle of life.
I would give it ten stars if I could.

When will the world learn that beyond all the spiritual and humanitarian reasons for gentleness, mercy and love...that the practice of violence is extremely low taste.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you don't like superbly done sentimental films
If you don't like superbly done sentimental films, then just close your eyes and listen to the music. Read more
Published 5 days ago by James O. Mayor
5.0 out of 5 stars Departures-Absolutely nothing to do with flying or the airport, but...
Love this movie-beautiful story with a little bit of comedy thrown in as well.
Published 6 days ago by Julie Domingo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
What an incredibly moving and beautiful movie.
Published 10 days ago by A. Buchanan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Beautiful movie!!!
Published 18 days ago by Josefina Jimene
5.0 out of 5 stars A really great movie, It was done well
A really great movie, It was done well. It's for anyone, but especially for those interested in the way that other cultures deal with family
who have died, their traditions,... Read more
Published 22 days ago by martha jane schaeffer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 24 days ago by Yvonne Wade
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
What an awesome experience to see this film.
Published 25 days ago by sandra hollon
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Greatest films of all time!
The subject is death and life that feeds on dead things to live. e film is gripping, shattering scenes of casketing, insights into forgiveness of those closest who have betrayed or... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Daniel G. Madigan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie
...An uncommon subject, beautifully and Sensitively handled by the Director. Brought a lump to my throat on more than one instance.
Published 29 days ago by Barry K. Rhodes
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good movie
Although this is on a very serious subject it had a degree of humor in the way it was presented from time to time, but mostly it showed the respect that is given to those who pass... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kitty
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