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Being Japanese means always having to say you're sorry, from outright apologies to subtly disguised greetings. Not all of them are subtitled as such in Departures, which gobbled up Japanese Academy Awards including best picture, director, screenplay, actor and others and won the Oscar for 2009 Best Foreign Language Film. Director Yojiro Takita's film follows cellist Daigo Kobayashi as he abandons his career as a professional musician and moves back to his hometown with his wife. A misunderstanding leads to an apprenticeship with an undertaker, an opportunity Daigo keeps to himself because of a Japanese stigma about touching dead bodies. How the lost artistic soul and Japanese negotiate shame and the inconvenient truths that pop up in daily life give the film its tension, warmth and humor. Daigo even gives a new meaning to the elaborate Japanese custom of saving face. Tickets $7 general admission, $6 students/seniors, $5 Zeitgeist members. — Will Coviello


7 p.m. Fri.-Mon., Aug. 28-Sept. 3

Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center, 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 827-5858;

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