Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, Lana Wilson delivers an unforgettable portrait of a Japanese punk-rocker-turned-Buddhist-monk who inspires others to embrace life.


Filmmakers: Lana Wilson
Country: USA
Runtime: 88, 56 mins
Year: 2017
Format: HD


After-Tiller director, Lana Wilson, delivers a touching and meditative portrait of a Japanese punk-rocker-turned-Buddhist-monk who inspires others to embrace life. His work has increasingly come at the cost of his own health and family life, as he refuses to draw a line between his patients and himself. The Departure captures this priest at a crossroads, when a spiral of self-destruction leads him to confront the same question his patients ask him: what makes life worth living?


"Sad, tender and quietly moving, “The Departure” never says more than it needs to" - New York Times

"Quietly profound" - The Hollywood Reporter

"Unfailingly sensitive about issues of selflessness and suffering, “The Departure” is in a way its own work of meditation" - LA Times

"A rich, rewarding documentary that digs deep into major questions without being afraid of the answers" - IndieWire

"A film that explores life’s toughest and most transcendent moments with tenderness, honesty and care." - Washington Post

"A poetic meditation on what it means to be human and what it means to be alive." - Indie NYC

"An intimate, deeply felt engagement with profound matters of life and death" - Screen Daily

"Compelling" - Village Voice

"A truly moving piece of work" ★★★★- The Hot Pink Pen

"A quiet examination of suicide and choosing to live" ★★★★ - The Pop Break


Lana Wilson (Director/Producer) is an Emmy-winning filmmaker based in New York. Her first film, After Tiller, went inside the lives of the four most-targeted abortion providers in the country, and was critically acclaimed for providing a moving and complex look at one of the most incendiary issues of our time. After Tiller premiered at Sundance in 2013, and was theatrically released by Oscilloscope in 50 U.S. cities. It was nationally broadcast on PBS’s POV, and recently won the 2015 Emmy Award for Best Documentary as well as numerous other awards and accolades. 

Recently Wilson wrote and produced “Jacked,” an episode of the National Geographic Channel miniseries I Am Rebel, Executive Produced by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity). Wilson was previously the Film and Dance Curator for Performa, the New York biennial of new visual art performance, where she produced major performances by artists including Guy Maddin, Boris Charmatz, L’Encyclopédie de la Parole, Pieter Ampe and Guilherme Garrido, Pete Drungle, and Eleanor Bauer. She also curated several film retrospectives, including Not Funny: Stand-Up Comedy and Visual Art, The Polyexpressive Symphony: Futurism on Film, and Dance After Choreography. Wilson holds a B.A. in Film Studies and Dance from Wesleyan University.


Director/ Producer: Lana Wilson

Editor: David Teague

Co-Producer: Eri Yokoyama

Executive Producers: Sally Jo Fifer, Lilly Hartley, Mike Lerner, Diane L. Max, Regina K. Scully and Jeffrey Tarrant

Original Score: Nathan Michel


Nominated  Best Documentary - Spirit Awards 2018



Tribeca Film Festival 2017

HotDocs 2017

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017

Shanghai International Film Festival 2017

Camden International Film Festival 2017

DocPoint Documentary Film Festival 2018

Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival 2018