Films about Aging and End of Life
Two Japanese films were awarded in this year’s Oscar. One was for the Best Foreign Film: Okuribito (Departures), and the other one was the Best Short Animation: Tsumiki no Ie (The House of Small Cubes).
“Okuribito” is about one Japanese death custom that the ministrations of the nokanshi (literally, “encoffining master”), a professional who cleanses and clothes a body. The film’s nokanshi hero elevates a simple task to a refined ritual with practiced, elegant movements, while communicating a compassion for the deceased. This, he wordlessly shows the survivors, is no mere lifeless body, but a person worthy of respect and love. With his expert touch, he brings the dead back to a semblance of life.
“Tsumiki no Ie” is about an elderly man living in a blocklike house. He piles up bricks to build his house higher and stay above the rising level of the sea.
Interestingly, both of these films dealt with aging and end of life, which are not the most glamorous subjects. It was such an encouragement for me to learn that our society is slowly but surely accepting to openly discuss about “Aging” and “End of life” issues. I can assure you that these films will not make you depressed, but they were rather fun and uplifting. (I guess they did such a good job shedding a light on positive aspects of aging) I highly recommend you to watch them!