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After Life

4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 198.30
Only 5 left in stock - order soon.
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Product Details

  • Actors: Arata Iura, Erika Oda, Susumu Terajima, Takashi Naitô, Kyôko Kagawa
  • Directors: Hirokazu Koreeda
  • Writers: Hirokazu Koreeda
  • Producers: Masayuki Akieda, Shiho Sato, Yutaka Shigenobu
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • Release Date: Sept. 26 2000
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00004U1F9
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,676 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

This unpretentious, endearing film is a modest triumph. Based on interviews with more than 500 people about the one memory they would choose to take with them to heaven, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda has modeled a unique blend of documentary and fiction that addresses the vagaries of memory but also what it means to make films. After Life transpires in a sort of way station where the dead must select one memory to be re-created on film and taken on with them forever, relinquishing everything else. Over the span of a week, a dedicated group of caseworkers tease out self-deceptions as well as real epiphanies from 22 different lives. An old woman remembers reuniting with her husband on a crowded bridge after World War II; a man recollects the breeze felt on a tram ride the day before summer vacation; a successful man faces his own treachery. Remembering becomes a courageous act in the casual exposition of this lovely film. --Fionn Meade

From the Back Cover

From the award-winning director Kore-eda Hirokazu (Maborosi) comes a remarkably touching film exploring the profound human need to discover meaning in everyday life.

Many films have offered insight into the unexplainable realm of the after life. In Kore-eda's thought-provoking vision, the newly deceased find themselves in a way station somewhere between Heaven and Earth.

With the help of dedicated caseworkers, each soul is given three days to choose one cherished memory from their life that they will relive for eternity. As the film reveals, recognizing happiness and finding a life's worth of meaning in a single event is no simple task. If Heaven is only a single memory from your life, as Kore-eda suggests, which memory would you choose?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
"You'll be staying with us for one week. Everyone gets a private room. Just relax and enjoy yourself. But while you're here, there is one thing you must do. From the entire <X> years of your life, we need you to select one memory. One memory that was most meaningful or precious to you. There is a time limit. You have three days to decide. When you've chosen your memory, our staff will do their best to recreate if on film. On Saturday, we'll screen the film for you. As soon as you've relived your memory, you will move on, taking only that memory with you."
Whoa, how's that for a premise and assignment in this documentary-style movie? That's what the staff of the limbo between death and the afterlife tell the arrivals who have died the previous day. The staff includes the boss Nakamura and counselors Mochizuki, a sensitive soul, it turns out, Sugite, and Kawashima. There's also Shiori, a sullen young woman who assists Mochizuki, as well as others. They are hard-working and detail-oriented, trying to get the day, season, weather, atmosphere, environment, all so it can be duplicated on film. And the evening conferences they have with their Nakamura shows the great Japanese work ethic and empowerment the staff have. The courtesy and patience towards the deceased shown by the staff was really wonderful.
The set-up's not glamorous-a spartan old schoolhouse with falling paint, none of your pearly gates and St. Peter peering at the Heaven or Hell registry through his specs. There's also some nearby woods and a studio for filming.
I was saddened by the number of young people who died. 35, 29, there was even one schoolgirl in her teens who initially chose Disney's Splash Mountain. Which made me think, what happened to them? How did they die?
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Format: VHS Tape
After life is an extremely strange film.
First of all it is not your typical Japanese odd ball.It is actually very straight forward. Story and the location is very
down to earth. Strange thing that the film is set in a parallel world or better a zone between earth and heaven&hell. People live and work there just like in earth.Even announcements are made regularly. In this parralel zone, people who lost their lives recently, come and pick a memory before exiting to the otherside.Of course everybody is strangely Japanese but it is a Japanese film is not it? This memory will be the only thing that they will remember about their past lives. There is a government office type place there whose employees (dead people just like visitors who still unsure about which memory to pick)try to help the visitors to pick a memory. When a memory is picked, these people help the visitors to re live the memory by re creating it with actors and other resources. These clerks has a band as well which performs at the farewell seremonies.
So a very straight looking movie which shatter all these past visions of afterlife in other movies. Yes it is not the afterlife itself and director wisely protects films authenticity by not showing it. But this parallel world is without any phantasy locations or people. So director takes us in to the meaning and the message of the film without being irrevelent.
Film's message is simply based on the memories and our failure to appreciate them. Visitors who want to decide which memory to pick is provided with video tapes of thie entire life. Some of them watch it and find how life was beautiful when they were unaware of it, how moments shared with precious ones were actually the best of times which were always unnoticed and forgotten quickly.
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Format: DVD
After death, everyone will be appointed a caseworker to help them reflect on their favorite memory. After the choice is made, they go to heaven with only that memory to relive for eternity. This is the concept of After Life. This film is stunning from beginning to end. It follows a handful of the caseworkers and their assignments. It seems like a simple plot, and easy to wrap up, but goes much deeper. The deceased have to think of their most cherished memory, but what memory is that? A young girl wants to choose her trip to Disneyland, and her caseworker cautions her and asks if that is her fondest memory. That scene in the film is heartbreaking, because the young girl hadn't experienced much in life, and must now make a decision that will be eternal. There is a man who seems rebelious, and will not choose a favorite memory. I don't think it is because of the resentment of his own death, but a fear of eternity. Riding home from school on the bus, with a breeze flowing through the open windows is another great memory from a middle aged man, and is my favorite scene in the film. This film also deals with the struggle of a couple of the caseworkers themselves. The toll they pay for helping many people, and the actual reinvolvement with one of the workers past life. Everyone should watch this film. You will probably reflect on your own past memories, and this film days after viewing. I have seen hundreds of films, and I am certain this is the best film I have ever seen.
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Format: DVD
Pick one memory from your entire life, and spend eternity reliving it over and over...it's the sublimely simple idea that forms both the solid foundation and quiet joys of After Life, Hirokazu Kore-eda's thoughtful meditation on spirituality, humanity, and the changing nature of both. Although the action of After Life is set in an otherworldly processing center for the souls of the recently deceased, the film is actually a gentle introspective journey for each and every viewer. Watching Hirokazu's beautifully austere work, one can only ruminate on one's own life, asking the questions the persons are asking on screen. What is your most treasured memory? Has your life had meaning? Will you be remembered, or did your life pass by without the world's notice? The cast, made up of professional and novice actors, is one of the film's greatest joys. Many of the non-actors, in fact, used their actual lives and memories in coming up with their unscripted, improvised answers to the questions. Especially memorable are an almost silent old lady who collects pretty things from the garden, the little girl who chooses Disneyland as her best memory and then changes her mind, and Iseya, a street tough who refuses to choose any memory at all. Unfortunately, despite a sometimes witty script and solid premise, After Life suffers from a tediously dull pace. As the film continues on, it becomes a series of notable moments. Further on, the moments come further apart, until finally the idea has played itself out. The ending drags on with an unnecessary after-thought that adds a spirit-killing half hour to the running time. It's a shame that such an admirable effort bogs down into a disappointing, meandering whole.
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