In 1997, the Asian economic bubble burst, and Japan, a country that had stunned the world with its meteoric post-war rise to power, went into financial free fall, accompanied by a dramatic uptick in its suicide rate. Salary workers unable to make ends meet, elderly feeling like a burden on their families, and young men and women alienated by society all shared feelings of hopelessness and loss.
The Departure, the new flm by award-winning director of After Tiller, Lana Wilson, goes inside the lives of three Zen Buddhist priests, hip existentialist Nemoto, former bank president Fujio, and rural coffee shop proprietor Hakamata, as they try to help individuals discover the will to keep living. It’s a lyrical, complicated, and moving protrait of a profound contemporary issue that ultimately affects us all.
The Departure is now on the festival circuit.
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