Asian Dinner and Film: Departures

Asian Dinner Buffet and Academy Award-winning Japanese Film: DeparturesDepartures poster

Location: Lulu’s Chinese Cuisine, 3011 Cerrillos Road (attached to Quality Inn)

Happy Hour/Cash Bar: 5:00 p.m., Chinese Buffet Dinner: 5:30 p.m. 

Movie Begins: 6:30 p.m. (Film is 130 minutes.) Post-screening Discussion: 8:30 p.m. led by CIR board member, Rob Reider

Cost:  $35 includes Chinese Buffet and Film: Departures; $15 Film Only

Reservations required for buffet by Friday, November 14

Click Here to View Trailer

The Japanese movie, Departures, was the 2009 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film.


Roger Ebert December 5, 2011   I showed Yojiro Takita’s film at Ebertfest 2010, and it had as great an impact as any film in the festival’s history. At the end the audience rose as one person. Many standing ovations are perfunctory. This one was long, loud and passionate.


Our hero has just lost his job as a orchestra cellist. His wife loves and believes in her husband. When employment disaster strikes, she’s quick to agree to return to the small town where he was born and move into his childhood home, which was left to him after his mother’s death not long ago. He sells the expensive cello and they make the trip. This is defeat for him: Unemployed, owning not even an instrument, back where he began.


Looking into the employment ads, he finds a promising offer related to departures–it sounds like a travel agency to him—but it is an “encoffinment,” or undertaking, business.


The construction of the screenplay is rock-solid in its fundamentals. Casting is vital in this movie, in no role more than his boss, Mr. Sasaki, who has a wise and serene face. The character is not demonstrative but understated, as he plays the young man’s personality gently. We understand why his assistant reveres him. He never makes speeches about the importance of his work. All is implied or demonstrated. At the end, when several plot threads come together, it happens naturally and is deeply satisfying.

Lulu’s Chinese Cuisine review:  “The only real Chinese in New Mexico…?? After moving to NM from So. Cal, I was really disappointed with the Chinese food in this state. I had pretty much given up on it. I saw this place with a grand opening sign up and figured it couldn’t hurt to try, and I was glad I did. First off, you know it’s going to be good when your order is written down in Chinese by the waitstaff. I’ve tried several dishes here on several occasions, and each one has been excellent (Kung Pao Beef, Orange Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Egg Flower Soup, Hot & Sour Soup, Mushuu, Wontons, Spring Rolls, Fried Rice…) …this is one great restaurant.”

Click here to learn more about Lulu’s Chinese Cuisine