Saturday, June 9, 2007

After Life (1998)

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-Eda. Starring Arata and Erika Oda.

The issue of where we go after we die has been an question on the minds of people throughout the world ever since humans discovered their mortality. This film posits a place somewhere between the living world and the eternal where the recently deceased are asked to select one memory from their lives to carry with them for eternity. AFTER LIFE has an almost documentary-like feel to it, with friendly interviewers and hurried office workers who have deadlines to make so that the newly-dead can move onward. Much of the film's impact comes from this realism, and the way it avoids the religious iconography that's common to films about the hereafter in favor of a more secular and universal approach. The film's premise not only invites us to know the characters onscreen better, but also to consider what memory we might choose if we were asked. Much like Kore-Eda's first film, MABOROSI, AFTER LIFE is a thought-provoking and beautiful film.

See also: Review at

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