Chevra Kadisha, Japanese Style

A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals in “Departures,” being presented Sunday, May 15 at 7 pm at the Boulder JCC. The screening is co-sponsored by Boulder’s Chevra Kadisha and the BJCC’s Maimonides Wellness Center.

The 2009 best foreign language Oscar winner is a touching, funny and wise Japanese movie about a young man who “accidentally” finds himself with a job as a funeral professional. The film shows how respectfully, tenderly, and gracefully he cares for the departed and the impact this has on the bereaved families.

There are many surprising similarities between our Jewish tahara rituals of washing and preparing the body for burial and Japanese customs. Though Jewish and Japanese customs are different, both share the intention of honoring the dead and comforting the mourners.

Following the film, members of Boulder’s Chevra Kadisha will lead a discussion. Tickets are $5 at the door.

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Kathryn has spent her professional life writing about, teaching, and presenting the arts. Founding Director of the Boulder Jewish Film Festival, Kathryn was Director of Menorah and ACE at the Boulder JCC from 2003 through August, 2019. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time." kathryn.bernheimer@gmail.com

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One comment

  1. Looking forward to this film after many people have recommended it highly. Will be thought provoking.