When I was a child, winters didn’t feel so cold.
And so Japan’s answer to Six Feet and Under begins, a hint perhaps of the sublime script, music, pathos, cinematography and excellent comic timing; a worthy winner of the 2009 Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
An unemployed cellist moves back to his home town and answers an obscure ad -
Working with departures
Surely this must become standard recruitment ad blurb for undertakers around the world. And indeed how does one vet future employees
Are you willing to work hard, yes came the reply you’re hired!
Don’t you just love the simplicity!
First case an elderly lady who has been dead for over two weeks! Yikes! Its one thing to dress a living being in a kimono, you simply admire the skill that is needed to dress the dead in a kimono. The moving ceremony had me thinking of the Ancient Egyptians Book of the Dead, and I wondered how true was this movie in depicting this Japanese ceremony?
Well cast – Masahiro Motoki leads a great cast, a wonderful tear jerker, and a must see. On a side, what makeup do the dead use – L’Oreal, Makeup Forever, Aveda………… sorry I have a habit of spotting silly things in the credits.
Some of my favourite quotes:
The living eat the dead, unless they’re plants.
Unless you want to die, eat and if you eat, eat well.
No problems of religious affiliation?
Its’ fine, Buddhist, Christian, Islam, Hindu we handle anything.
Dying doesn’t mean the end, you go through it and onto the next thing. It’s a gate….. off you go. We’ll meet again.
The film was loosely based on Shinmon Aokis’ Coffinman: The Journal of a Buddhist Mortician. A wonderful quote
Day after day all I see are dead people. And so the dead appear to me as serene, even beautiful. By contrast, the despicableness of the living began to irk me – the living, who, out of their fear of death, peer into the faces of the dead with fear and trepidation in their eyes. As they watch me washing the deceased, I can sense their lines of sight mixed with feelings of alarm, fear, sadness, affection, and anger piercing me from behind.
Though the faces of the dead engross me, in the course of being in contact with the dead on a daily basis, I began to notice that the faces of the dead were invariably gentle ones. During their lives I don’t know what right or wrong they might have done, but it seems to have no bearing on them now. It doesn’t matter whether their beliefs were thick or thin, whether they belonged to this denomination or that, whether they were interested in religion or not. Nothing they have done goes to making the dead wear such gentle faces.