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The Departure

Documentary Competition

World Premiere

USA | 87 MINUTES | Japanese | English subtitles


Female Director(s), Documentary, Female Screenwriter(s)
Lana Wilson follows up her award-winning documentary After Tiller with this lyrical, intimate character study of the complex figure Ittetsu Nemoto, an aimless and rebellious former punk rocker-turned-Buddhist priest. Most famously, he is renowned in Japan for saving the lives of countless suicidal men and women through his wise and compassionate counsel. But Nemoto is now approaching middle-age with a wife and young boy of his own, when he learns his life is at risk from heart disease, compounded by the heavy emotional workload of supporting those who no longer want to live. When saving others takes such a toll, can he find the resiliency to save himself? The Departure is an intimate portrait of one quietly extraordinary man who has helped so many learn to live, and now must find the strength to learn from his own advice.

—Cara Cusumano


Directed by Lana Wilson

Lana Wilson is an Emmy Award®-winning filmmaker based in New York. Her first film, After Tiller, premiered at Sundance in 2013, and went on to win an Emmy® for Best Documentary. Oscilloscope Laboratories gave the film a 50-city theatrical release, and it was nationally broadcast on PBS’s POV.
Lana Wilson
Emily Topper
David Teague
Executive Producer
Lilly Hartley, Mike Lerner, Diane L. Max, Regina K. Scully, Jeffrey Tarrant, Sally Jo Fifer
Lana Wilson
Associate Producer
Laura Vigilante
Eri Yokoyama
Field Producers
Mai Morikawa, Ariya Sasaki, Nao Abe
Co-Executive Producer
Claire Silberman


International Sales Contact
Ana Vicente
US Sales Contact
Anna Godas
London, EC1V 3QN
Phone: 207 253 6244
Print Source
Luke Brawley
London, EC1V 3QN
Phone: 207 253 6244
Press Contact
Susan Norget
Susan Norget Film Promotion
New York, NY 10010
Phone: 917-833-3056