After Life (1998)

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After Life: Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. With Arata Iura, Erika Oda, Susumu Terajima, Takashi Naitô. After death, people have a week to choose only one memory to keep for eternity.

“Afterlife is another film offering an answer to the unanswerable question u0026quot;What happens after you die? u0026quot;. Although this has been asked many times through cinema in the past, few films have answered as elegantly as Afterlife.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eDirectly after dying the departed are received by a group of counsellors who assist them in finding what was, for them, the most beautiful and perfect, single experience of their lives. For some the choice is easy and they are instantly able to provide the moment, which, once recreated by technicians, they remain in forever but the majority of the film concentrates upon those who are unable to find their perfect moment, and need extra help to recall past loves and lost days of their youth. The institution has the perfect means to assist this choice, with the complete life of everyone on grainy home-video, perhaps a comment on the tehcnology and recording-obsessed Japanese.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eMany of the scenes are visually exceptional, especially those in the snow and everything seems very real, and, ironically, down-to-earth, especially the school building being used throughout the film giving an institutional feeling, but the interaction between the staff is where the film holds its true strength. Especially interesting is the relationship between Shiori, a newly employed worker, and Mochizuki, her mentor, which develops throughout. The film is slow to start due to the documentary style often used, but proceeds in an enveloping manner holding your attention to the end. Along with u0026quot;Heaven can waitu0026quot; and u0026quot;Beetlejuiceu0026quot; this film offers another novel look at life, death and the hereafter.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe Japanese title was u0026quot;Wandafuru raifuu0026quot; (wonderful life, after Frank Capra) and, even though the film is dealing with death, it is a statement of how wonderful life is.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI loved this film and it stuck me stunningly and reminded me of how good films can be when they try.”


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