This film Departures is a perfect introduction to Japanese culture and my topic of research. It won the Oscar for best for best foreign language film in 2009. I watched in on the plane over and I was basically sobbing the entire time. (There is also just emotional something about watching films in the air.) It is about a young musician who gets laid off from an orchestra and finds himself at a very unique new job – “departures” – or preparing the dead for burial. It is an absolutely beautiful film and extremely informative about attitudes towards death in Japan.



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