Impermanence of life

Impermanence of life

I like to introduce you to three movies on YouTube.

[12/12/12 Update] All of the full movie (10 minutes segmentation) were removed from YouTube due to copyright infringement.

Film: Departures departures-movie
Japan (2008)

Departures is a Japanese movie about the profession of nokanshi (encoffineer), who prepare deceased bodies for funeral ceremonies. It was the winner for 2009 Best Foreign Language Film.

Departures lives on a story of heartfelt traditional Japanese casketing ceremony. Maybe it seems out of place to  western eyes. The encoffinement scenes are transfixing and it shows our dead the tenderness and respect.

What the film doesn’t say, but what Japanese audiences would know, is that Daigo’s initial reluctance isn’t just about what he sees as the job’s “ick” factor: For centuries, dealing with dead bodies and dead animals was regarded as unclean in Japan, much as it was in India, and though the caste system that limited opportunities for the burakumin has long been a thing of the past, that prejudice dies hard. Those who prepare bodies are still widely discriminated against, and that discrimination can extend to families.


Film: Cherry Blossoms (“Kirschblüten – Hanami”)cherry blossoms movie
Directed by Dorris Dorrie
Germany (2008)
Family Drama

A German movie set largely in Japan; It is a beautiful and heartbreaking film about living for the moment and of not putting off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Exploring themes of love, death, and quiet longing.

The moving finale to Cherry Blossoms is a tour de force which vividly conveys the inherent beauty and profundity of impermanence.

Film: After Life afterlife movie
Japan (1998)
Psychological Drama/Fantasy

by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda

After Life, known in Japan as Wonderful Life (ワンダフルライフ).  After Life is set in a waystation where the souls of the recently deceased are processed before entering heaven. “Heaven,” for the film, is a single memory from one’s life, re-experienced for eternity.

I think you or I could be part of someone else’s most precious memory and happiness. Think about it . . .