Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda • 1998 • Japan
Starring Arata, Erika Oda, Susumu Terajima
If you could choose only one memory to hold on to for eternity, what would it be? That’s the question at the heart of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s revelatory international breakthrough, a bittersweet fantasia in which the recently deceased find themselves in a limbo realm where they must select a single cherished moment from their life to be recreated on film for them to take into the next world. AFTER LIFE’s high-concept premise is grounded in Kore eda’s documentary-like approach to the material, which he shaped through interviews with hundreds of Japanese citizens. What emerges is a panoramic vision of the human experience—its ephemeral joys and lingering regrets—and a quietly profound meditation on memory, our interconnectedness, and the amberlike power of cinema to freeze time.