If I can only recommend one Japanese movie in my life, then I would recommend this one without hesitation.
Departures/入殓师 /おくりびと (2008)
I watched this movie on the train. Although there were other passengers and I face to face, I burst into tears after watching this movie and couldn’t stop crying. Death is a heavy topic, and we always hope that the end of life is decent.
Daigo Kobayashi is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and now finds himself without a job. Daigo decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled “Departures” thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a “Nokanshi” or “encoffineer,” a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life.
While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of “Nokanshi,” acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living.
**There is a sentence on the English poster of “departures” that says-The gift of the last memories. **
How lucky to meet someone like Kobayashi. It illuminates the memories of the living and is indeed a gift from heaven. As a self-destructor deep in my heart, I live in a world where everyone treats each other rudely.
I never expect myself to die well. I can be very ruthless to myself, but in this life where I have never been treated tenderly. Inside, there is still the softest part of my heart, growing in the body of the person I love.
People I have loved so much, how I hope you can be treated gently by this world, even when you leave, you can have two hands and hold each other gently.
The actor kindly, gently and equally treat every dead people, no matter how they die. There is such a gentle person in his heart, what a rare treasure in this cold world. When I was watching the movie, I was crying and thinking, if it was my father, it would be great if Daigo Kobayashi could also help him, holding his hand gently, and walking the last road.