October 16, 2017
The Departure: An Emotional Film Raising the Question: What Makes Life Worth Living?
On Sunday afternoon, The Mofatt-Ladd house welcomed festival goers to the only screening on The Departure, a documentary following Ittetsu Nemoto and his career of suicidal people find reasons to live.
The Departure, directed and produced by Emmy-award winning Lana Wilson focuses on punk-turned-Buddhist-priest Ittetsu Nemoto. Filmed in Japan, this documentary follows Nemoto as he helps suicidal people find reasons to live.
Nemoto runs a program at his temple called The Departure that allows the participants to experience how it feels to die and leave the world. After the program, it is seen that each participant has been reborn.
The audience watches the emotional journey Nemoto embarks on as he meets with individuals for sessions both in the temple and in their home. A strong personal connection is created to these help-seeking individuals as they express their raw emotion and the difficulties they are going through that lead them to the thought of suicide. As a priest that has been working with suicide prevention for ten years, Nemoto is trying to figure out what causes individuals to be driven to suicide.
Being a counselor that is highly depended on, Nemoto experiences both physical and mental decline. The stress and anxiety that his job creates has led to his own health issues and family strains. Having to re-evaluate his priorities, Nemoto is caught at a crossroads that force him to confront the same question his patience ask him: what makes life worth living?
By Madison Krasko