Wandâfuru raifu (After Life)


Wandâfuru raifu (After Life)

Critics Consensus

After Life is an offbeat and tender exploration of memory, love, and life after death.



Total Count: 28


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,769
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Wandâfuru raifu (After Life) Photos

Movie Info

Like his previous drama Maborosi (1995), Hirokazu Kore-eda's After Life is a brilliant meditation on death and memory. The premise of After Life is simple: over the span of a week, twenty-two souls arrive at a way station (which looks like an old junior high school) between life and death, where they are asked to choose just one memory to take into the afterlife. The new arrivals include an elderly woman, a rebellious dropout, a teenage girl, and a 70-year-old war veteran. Once they have chosen a memory, it is recreated and filmed by the staff of the way station, using all the tricks and illusions of cinema: cotton balls are used to mimic clouds, a fan is used for a summer breeze. In preparation for this project, Kore-eda interviewed 500 people from all walks of life about their memories. The film freely cuts between footage of these interviews, actors improvising, and actors reading scripts. Just as Kore-eda fuses documentary elements with a fictional narrative, we see over the course of the film how memories are distorted, improved on, and revised; and it is these subjectively constructed memories that the new arrivals value most. This film is not a typical Hollywood feel-good film; but its unhurried pace and lack of melodrama, like its subject, may linger in the memory long afterwards. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi


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Critic Reviews for Wandâfuru raifu (After Life)

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for Wandâfuru raifu (After Life)

  • Oct 31, 2009
    So exactly what does happen once you're dead? Do you get guided to a place of twinkly lights by a grim reaper moments after they've pinched the soul right out of your body? Or do you get to pop up in front of your loved ones at inconvenient moments to remind them what they're missing? Or do you come back to scare little boys with your rotting flesh until they finish your unfinished business? Or maybe you'll be out playing baseball every night in Kevin Costners field. This film plumps for none of these and instead suggests that after your numbers up, you go to live in a college residiential hall for a week while you drum up your most precious memory to take with you to the great hereafter. A gentle beautiful film that just might make you re-evaluate how you see your life. After all, what memory would YOU take with you for all eternity?
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • Jan 21, 2009
    Good performances and the proper direction for the material, but it's one of those films that feels more like an essay than an actual exploration of the subject. You're suppose to think a lot about what life means to you, and your memories and what not, but at the end you will not remember much about this film. Strong questions require strong statements, plain and simple.
    Tsubaki S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2009
    After you die, you have to pick only one memory from your entire life but be careful, you are going to live with it throughout the eternity. So, what's it gonna be? Writer-director takes this interesting idea and makes an existentialist drama; slow paced, character based and documentary style. You have to forget every moment but one; is it hell? You get to live with your favoritte moment; is it heaven? Which one do you need to chose to be happy; is this purgatory? One of those great movies that makes you think..
    Serdar C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 26, 2008
    After Life is without doubt one of my new favorite Japanese films ever made and always a pleasure to see Susumu Terajima in anything. Simplistic in its execution, it is a moving experience that dwells not with death but in its' examination and, more importantly, a celebration of life. It is very difficult to pin-point just what it is about After Life that is so great, but I loved the attention to detail that Kore'eda invests in each character, in each memory and within the often heartbreaking events that the characters have lived through. After Life is a film that urges you to reflect upon your life, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. If you could only pick one memory for eternity, which would it be? <a href="http://s273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/?action=view¤t=afterlife.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/afterlife.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    El Hombre I Super Reviewer

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