Movie: Departures (Japanese)


“Winters didn’t feel this cold when I was a child. It’s almost two weeks since I returned to Yamagata from Tokyo. Now that I think of it, I’ve led such an unremarkable life.” That’s the monologue at the beginning of the movie. Departures, The Gift Of Last Memories. A film by Yojiro Takita. It won the best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards plus 10 Japan Academy Prize Awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Screenplay. A friend recommended this to me. “All married couples (or loved ones) are eventually separated by death, but it’s tough being the one left behind”. I liked this movie. It’s one of those movies that makes me want to drive home and spend more time with my parents. To appreciate the people you love while they’re still around. I don’t remember when was the last time I wept watching a movie. Watching this, I did. I don’t think many Western movie critics will appreciate the incredibly moving scene during the cremation and the last scene between the main character and his father. But being Asian, and having a close relationship with my parents – watching this touched many nerve points that triggers an avalanche of emotions. It’s been awhile, since my last good movie. This – is by far the best I’ve seen for a very very very long time.


11 Responses to “Movie: Departures (Japanese)”

  1. 1 Cello July 8, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    wow no kidding? That good? I know it garnered a bunch of award but I never had much interest in this movie, I’ll have to take your advice and give this one a look! Great write up!

    • 2 BigMacky July 8, 2009 at 9:49 pm


      I believe its the subject matter that got me. Human relations. One’s regrets and unspoken words after the passing of a beloved family member, loved ones or partner. Please watch this with your full attention with minimal distraction. I trust that you will be blessed with a rewarding movie experience.

  2. 3 Justy July 8, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    My tear glands definitely had a good work out.

    • 4 BigMacky July 8, 2009 at 9:54 pm


      I can’t wait to watch this again this weekend with a group of test subjects! But I think I already know, which of them will cave first.

  3. 5 zirconic July 8, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Such sad movies always makes my eyes teary.

    • 6 BigMacky July 9, 2009 at 6:30 am


      I’m not sure, but am not surprised if this movie was inspired by Alan Ball’s Six Feet Under. His mentor shares similar characteristics with Nate and David’s dad. You should give it a go if you haven’t seen it. Well worth the 2-hours. After watching Debbie Gibson’s super cheesy Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus – just to see how low it can get (and it went really really really low, believe me). I needed Departures to restore my faith in movie making and that a moving story need no Hollywood special effects.

  4. 9 Nat July 9, 2009 at 10:23 am

    I must say its been a fair while since i’ve visted your blog. My deepest apologies as life for me has been a tad bit hetic these past few months. Always, something good to read about, and talk about perfect timing, its been a good long time since i’ve sat down in front of the television snuggled up with a few pillows and piggy to watch a good heart touching film. To be honest with you the last heart touching film i acutally watched was recommended by you in your previous, previous blogs ’10 promises to be dog’ my goodness did i give my tear ducts a good working out and that’s coming from a person who hardly ever sheds a tear in movies. Don’t know what it is maybe i’m just a hard hearted person. Would you possibly have a link for me to download and watch this movie from??

  5. 10 BigMacky July 9, 2009 at 3:12 pm


    No worries. There are more things to life than reading blogs. Besides, these are just some silly ramblings. Figured it’s a good place to let my close friends know what I’ve been up to. That’s all. Nothing important.

    So I heard you guys have moved to the new place. Your dad was bragging about how nice the pool is.

    About the movie, you MUST watch it. It will definitely give your tear gland a workout. But try not to read up on the movie. Just go in not knowing what the story is all about would give you a better experience. That’s what I did. Will try to locate the links for you. 🙂

  6. 11 Nat July 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Bah you gotta give yourself more credit that just silly ramblings. I think you were born to write and every article you write is all so interesting and really intriging. Only wish I oould have the talent & passion to blog the way you do but i don’t so i’m satisfied reading your blogs 😀

    Yea Candy has finally moved and i’m so sure that you guys are going to love it when you arrive in Oz. Its just been so busy lately and until today i’m still cleaning up the ex-house lucky me all the trash and dust is left over for me to clean up. Got 1 more room to go!

    Yes looking very forward to watching the movie and as for looking up thanks for the pre-warning but to be honest i really haven’t had the time to look up anything! Hope all has been well over in your world. Hows Cody doing by the way?

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