"A beautiful meditation on the value of life. 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."
– David Lewis, The San Francisco Chronicle
“A genuinely spiritual experience. A quietly galvanizing portrait of life, death and the thin places in between. A film that explores life’s toughest and most transcendent moments with tenderness, honesty and care."
– Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
"Poetic...profound...devastating. THE DEPARTURE beautifully illustrates just how meaningful life can be."
– Frank Scheck The Hollywood Reporter
"Immensely moving. Lyrical and deeply meditative…
digs deep into major questions without being afraid of the answers."
– Kate Erbland, IndieWire
"A beautiful, wise, and deeply empathetic immersion into one fascinating character's unique approach to suicide prevention. A quietly impressive work whose images, characters, and ruminations linger on long after the lights come up."
– Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine
"An intimate, deeply felt engagement with profound matters of life and death."
– Allan Hunter, SCREEN
"Incredible. A portrait of unbelievable humanity."
– Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com
"A poetic meditation on what it means to be human and what it means to be alive."
– Helen Kaplow, Indie NYC
"Nemoto's teaching is as much about embracing life as it is about facing death.
He offers hope for all."
– Joan Oliver Duncan, Tricycle Magazine
"A lyrical statement on the meaning of life. THE DEPARTURE is a moving,
philosophical exercise on understanding and cherishing life by
confronting the finiteness of it."
– Tomris Laffly, Film School Rejects
"A cinematic spiritual quest. A trip to the mountain top that will leave you moved, teary eyed, and utterly vibrating with the sense of feeling alive.
A small quiet film that is thunderous in its effect."
– Steve Kopia, Unseen Films
“Intimate and beautiful...tremendously profound. Wilson’s sensitive approach honors Nemoto's example of listening, sympathizing, and respecting the complexity of human emotions. Would that we were all so kind, as filmmakers and as people.
– Jason Bailey, Flavorwire
“An eloquent portrait.”
– Juliet Helmke, Art Info
"Highly empathetic. A tale of an iconoclast that is unexpectedly profound."
– Phil Guie, Film Forward
"Gorgeous and contemplative. A powerful work of documentary, cinema, advocacy, and art."
– Andrew Parker, Toronto Film Scene