Sayer discovers certain stimuli will reach beyond the patients' respective catatonic states; actions such as catching

a ball thrown at them, hearing specific genres of music, and experiencing human touch all have unique effects on particular patients and offer a glimpse into their worlds. Leonard Lowe (Robert De Niro) proves elusive in this regard, but Sayer soon discovers that Leonard is able to communicate with him by using a Ouija board.

After attending a lecture at a pub on the subject of the L-Dopa drug and its success with patients suffering from Parkinson's Disease, Sayer believes the drug may offer a breakthrough for his own group of patients. A trial run with Leonard Lowe yields astounding results as Leonard completely "awakens" from his catatonic state; this success inspires Sayer to ask for funding from donors so that all the catatonic patients can receive the L-Dopa medication and experience "awakenings" back to reality. Meanwhile, Leonard is adjusting to his new life and becomes romantically interested in Paula (Penelope Ann Miller), the daughter of another hospital patient and begins spending time with her when she comes to the hospital to visit her father. Leonard also begins to chafe at the restrictions placed upon him as a patient of the hospital, desiring the freedom to come and go as he pleases and stirs up a bit of a revolt in the process of arguing his case repeatedly to Sayer and the hospital administration. Sayer notices that as Leonard grows more agitated battling administrators and staff about his perceived confinement, a number of facial and body tics are starting to manifest and Leonard has difficulty controlling them. While Sayer and the hospital staff continue to delight in the success of L-Dopa with this group of patients, they soon find that it is a temporary measure. As the first to "awaken," Leonard is also the first to demonstrate the limited duration of this period of "awakening." Leonard's tics grow more and more prominent and he starts to shuffle more as he walks, and all of the patients are forced to witness what will eventually happen to them. He soon begins to suffer full body spasms and can hardly move. Leonard, however, puts up well with the pain, and asks Sayer to film him, in hopes that he would some day contribute to research that may eventually help others. Leonard acknowledges sadly what is happening to him and has a last lunch with Paula where he tells her he cannot see her anymore. Leonard and Dr. Sayer reconcile their differences, but Leonard returns to his catatonic state soon after. The other patients' fears are similarly realized as each eventually returns to catatonia no matter how much their L-Dopa dosages are increased. Sayer tells a group of grant donors to the hospital that although the "awakening" did not last, another kind — one of learning to appreciate and live life — took place. The film ends with Sayer standing over the once again-catatonic Leonard behind a Ouija board, with his hands on Leonard's hands which man the planchette. "Let's begin," Sayer says.

he decides to sell his cello (which he had recently purchased for 18 million yen) and also to move back to his old hometown, Sakata, Yamagata, with his wife. One day he finds a classified advertisement for "Assisting departures" for an "NK Agency". He goes to the job interview thinking it is for a job at a travel agency but discovers that NK is an abbreviation for "encoffinment" (納棺 nōkan?) and that he is instead to assist the "departed" by ceremonially preparing the dead in front of mourners before their bodies are placed in the coffin. The interviewer, the President of the NK Agency, immediately decides to hire Daigo after confirming that he is able to work hard. The salary is 500,000 yen per month with an additional 20,000 yen bonus for the interview. With no other job prospects, Daigo decides to accept the offer. However, when he comes home to his wife he finds himself unable to admit the type of work he will be doing so he dissembles, saying that he is to be employed in the 'ceremonial occasions industry', which his wife misunderstands as a wedding company. Daigo has a hard time at his first day of work, being made to act as a corpse in a DVD explaining the procedure of encoffinment. More harrowing still is his first assignment which is, in preparation for the wake, to clean, dress and apply cosmetics to the body of an aged woman who has died alone at home remaining undiscovered for two weeks. Beset with nausea at the sight and smell of her collapsed body, but in need of the money that is paid at the end of each day, Daigo sets out in his new career. Daigo completes a number of assignments and experiences the joy and gratitude at his work of those left behind, while enjoying playing his old cello during his time off. He has started to feel a sense of fulfillment in his work when his wife, Mika, (Ryoko Hirosue) finds the training DVD and begs him to give up such a "disgusting profession." Daigo however refuses to quit, so his wife leaves him. Even his old friend, Yamashita (Tetta Sugimoto), learning of his job, tells him to get "a proper job", then avoids him because of his refusal. Not long later however, Daigo's wife returns announcing that she is pregnant and pleads with him once again to find a different source of income. At this moment the telephone rings with a new assignment. Yamashita's mother, Tsuyako (Kazuko Yoshiyuki), who ran the local bathhouse on her own, has died. In front of Yamashita, his family and Mika, Daigo prepares Tsuyako's body for her wake and earns the respect and understanding of all present. Then one day, a telegram is delivered to Daigo's house, with notification of the death of Daigo's estranged father. Daigo refuses to see his dead father, but Daigo's co-worker convinces him to go and even insists he take one of the business' display model coffins. When Daigo sees his father, he notices that he has left only one cardboard box of belongings, despite the fact that he lived for over 70 years. Funeral workers come to get Daigo's father's corpse, but Daigo decides to personally encoffin his father. As he encoffins him, Daigo finds a "stone-letter" he had given to his father when he was little; the stone-letter was grasped in his father's hands. When Daigo is finished, he recognizes the father he remembered and cries. As his father is carried away in a coffin, Daigo presses the stone-letter to Mika's pregnant belly.

encounter the poverty of the indigenous peasants, and they began to recognize a greater seriousness once the men gain a better sense of the disparity between the "haves" and "have-nots" of Latin America. In Chile, the pleasure travelers encounter a couple forced onto the road because of their communist beliefs. In a fire-lit scene, Ernesto and Alberto admit to the couple that they are not out looking for work as well. The duo accompany the couple to the Chuquicamata copper mine, and Guevara becomes angry at the treatment of the workers. it is a visit to the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu that inspires something in Ernesto. His sombre musings are then focused on how a civilization capable of building such beauty could be destroyed by the creators of the polluted urban decay of Lima. His reflections are interrupted by Alberto, who shares with him a dream to peacefully revolutionize modern South America. Ernesto quickly responds: "A revolution without guns? It will never work." In Peru, they volunteer for three weeks at the San Pablo leper colony. There, Guevara sees both physically and metaphorically the division of society - the staff live on the north side of a river, separated from the lepers living on the south. Guevara also refuses to wear rubber gloves during his visit choosing instead to shake bare hands with startled leper inmates.
Guevara makes his symbolic "final journey" that night when despite his asthma, he chooses to swim across the river that separates the two societies of the leper colony, to spend the night in a leper shack, instead of in the cabins of the doctors. he was struck by the crushing poverty of the remote rural areas, where peasant farmers worked small plots of land owned by wealthy landlords.[30] Later on his journey, Guevara was especially impressed by the camaraderie among those living in a Leper Colony, stating "The highest forms of human solidarity and loyalty arise among such lonely and desperate people."[30] Guevara used notes taken during this trip to write an account entitled The Motorcycle Diaries, which later became a New York Times best-seller. Guevara later remarked that through his travels of Latin America, he came in "close contact with poverty, hunger and disease" along with the "inability to treat a child because of lack of money" and "stupefaction provoked by the continual hunger and punishment" that leads a father to "accept the loss of a son as an unimportant accident." It was these experiences which Guevara cites as convincing him that in order to "help these people", he needed to leave the realm of medicine, and consider the political arena of armed struggle In 1956 Guevara, Castro and eighty other men and women arrived in Cuba in an attempt to overthrow the government of General Fulgencio Batista. This group became known as the July 26 Movement. The plan was to set up their base in the Sierra Maestra mountains. On the way to the mountains they were attacked by government troops. By the time they reached the Sierra Maestra there were only sixteen men left with twelve weapons between them.

When the guerrillas took control of territory they redistributed the land amongst the peasants. In return, the peasants helped the guerrillas against

Batista's soldiers. In some cases the peasants also joined Castro's army, as did students from the cities and occasionally Catholic priests. In an effort to find out information about the rebels people were pulled in for questioning. Many innocent people were tortured. Suspects, including children, were publicly executed and then left hanging in the streets for several days as a warning to others who were considering joining the revolutionaries. The behaviour of Batista's forces increased support for the guerrillas. In 1958 forty-five organizations signed an open letter supporting the July 26 Movement. National bodies representing lawyers, architects, dentists, accountants and social workers were amongst those who signed. Castro, who had originally relied on the support of the poor, was now gaining the backing of the influential middle classes. General Fulgencio Batista responded to this by sending more troops to the Sierra Maestra. He now had 10,000 men hunting for Castro and his 300strong army. Although outnumbered, Castro's guerrillas were able to inflict defeat after defeat on the government's troops. In the summer of 1958 over a thousand of Batista's soldiers were killed or wounded and many more were captured. Unlike Batista's soldiers, Castro's troops had developed a reputation for behaving well towards prisoners. This encouraged Batista's troops to surrender to Castro when things went badly in battle. Complete military units began to join the guerrillas. The United States supplied Batista with planes, ships and tanks, but the advantage of using the latest technology such as napalm failed to win them victory against the guerrillas. In March 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower, disillusioned with Batista's performance, suggested he held elections. This he did, but the people showed their dissatisfaction with his government by refusing to vote. Over 75 per cent of the voters in the capital Havana boycotted the polls. In some areas, such as Santiago, it was as high as 98 per cent. Fidel Castro was now confident he could beat Batista in a head-on battle. Leaving the Sierra Maestra mountains, Castro's troops began to march on the main towns. After consultations with the United States government, Batista decided to flee the country. Senior Generals left behind attempted to set up another military government. Castro's reaction was to call for a general strike. The workers came out on strike and the military were forced to accept the people's desire for change. Castro marched into Havana on January 9,1959, and became Cuba's new leader. In its first hundred days in office Castro's government passed several new laws. Rents were cut by up to 50 per cent for low wage earners; property owned by Fulgencio Batista and his ministers was confiscated; the telephone company was nationalized and the rates were reduced by 50 per cent; land was redistributed amongst the peasants (including the land owned by the Castro family); separate facilities for blacks and whites (swimming pools, beaches, hotels, cemeteries etc.) were abolished.

In 1960 Guevara visited China and the Soviet Union. On his return he wrote two books Guerrilla Warfare and Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War. In these books he argued that it was possible to export Cuba's revolution to other South American countries. Guevara served as Minister for Industries (1961-65) but in April 1965 he resigned and become a guerrilla leader in Bolivia. In 1967 David Morales recruited Félix Rodríguez to train and head a team that would attempt to catch Che Guevara. Guevara was attempting to persuade the tin-miners living in poverty to join his revolutionary army. When Guevara was captured, it was Rodriguez who interrogated him before he ordered his execution in October, 1967. Rodriguez still possesses Guevara’s Rolex watch that he took as a trophy.

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