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All Critics (22)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (22)
| Rotten (0)
A film that explores life's toughest and most transcendent moments with tenderness, honesty and care.
This is a film that manages to be simple yet thought-provoking, sad yet comforting, and anguished yet tranquil. In short, a work of art.
Lana Wilson's documentary portrait of [Buddhist priest] Nemoto triumphs as a story but stumbles as a movie.
Unfailingly sensitive about issues of selflessness and suffering, "The Departure" is in a way its own work of meditation, on the pressures of living up to the turbulent promise of life's expected length.
In its poetic portrait of a man whose quest to help others has cost him dearly both emotionally and physically, The Departure proves quietly profound.
Like a haiku, "The Departure" weighs its words carefully. But silences, too, play a vital role here.
A quiet and considered study of a remarkable person.
"The Departure" creates its own space cinematically between capturing the life of its subject in vivid detail and offering the transcendent experience of genuinely feeling closer to him.
The film, like its main subject, is a quiet exercise in empathy that's likely to leave audiences more hopeful than defeated, if only by a hair.
As a filmmaker, [Lana] Wilson must have a similar knack for putting people at ease since it's quite remarkable how many of those in her film agreed to appear in such a vulnerable state.
The Departure, sliding with a deliberate melancholy toward the painful reality that concludes its story, benefits from the competent editing by David Teague. Nonetheless, better the subject matter than the technical aspects.
Told in a purely observational style, without talking-head interviews (though with some voiceover), the movie is remarkable for the deliberate patience of its camera aesthetics.
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