Departing is such sweet sorrow

Despite its out-of-the-way location, one of South Florida’s newest concert halls has become an unexpected enclave for great world cinema. Earlier this month, the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center launched its three-part 2011 Foreign Film Series with the heartfelt Swedish drama As It Is in Heaven. The series continues Tuesday with the best of the three: Still Walking, the 2009 masterpiece from Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda. The release of each Kore-eda movie is an event; Back in 1998, he made After Life, filmdom’s best evocation of a fully realized hereafter, complete with a transient waystation and postmortem social workers hired to guide the newly departed through their next spiritual phase. The same title could also fit Still Walking, an authentic, engrossing, warts-and-all dissection of a dysfunctional family brought together to celebrate the life of a beloved son and brother who died 12 years prior. Kore-eda’s film is quietly heartbreaking and moving beyond words, and though the dialogue is perfect, the film’s key scene is the silent meditation of a lone butterfly — a powerful, nondenominational argument for reincarnation. The film starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are $10. The Aventura Arts and Cultural Center is at 3385 NE 188th St. in Aventura. Call 305-446-8002, or visit
Tue., March 1, 7 p.m., 2011
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John Thomason
Contact: John Thomason