Documentary filmmaker Ian Thomas Ash accompanies Dr. Kaoru Konta and a handful of nurses on palliative care house visits across rural Japan as they look after patients who are preparing for death from old age or illness. Taking a minimally-intrusive, observational approach, Ash records patients discussing with their family members, Dr. Konta, and the other nurses how they would like to spend their final days over the course of one year as seasons change and the lives of three patients pass on. Engaging with the process of dying in a very matter-of-fact and respectful manner, Sending Off is a deeply moving examination of the sensitive considerations surrounding death and the various rituals undertaken to say goodbye to loved ones.
Available streaming territory: U.S. only
in Japanese with English subtitles