Last Smiles, Gentle Partings
- 1 x 49 min.
- Clean, M/E
- English script
- Japanese undertakers have received worldwide attention ever since the Japanese movie, Departures, was singled out as the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2009 Academy Awards. The film depicted the life of a mortician.
Last Smiles, Gentle Partings is a documentary about an undertaker in the area stricken by the Great East Japan Earthquake. In one of the most hard-hit zones, Ruiko Sasahara volunteered to restore more than 300 bodies that were swept up and mutilated by the gigantic tsunami. She has reconstructed, repaired, and made up the faces of the deceased. Thanks to her work, families could once again see the faces of their loved ones smiling peacefully. Each family's reaction was different, but many were affected beyond words. Sasahara painted watercolor portraits of each loved one as a final remembrance.
- "Silver Medal"
International URTI Grand Prix for Author's Documentary, 2013 -- Paris, France