Skip to main content

AFTER LIFE

Japan, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Hirokazu Kore-Eda

Hirokazu Kore-eda has two previous MIFF hits under his belt and once again proves his irrepressible talent. After Life is set in a purgatory or limbo which looks an awful lot like an old brick school on a perfect autumn day. Guides assist the newly dead in selecting their most treasured memory, the one that they will take with them to eternity.

While some people have no trouble choosing, oth­ers agonise over the decision. A multitude of stories emerge—funny, touching, thought-provoking—most of them gleaned from hundreds of interviews that Kore-eda and his staff conducted with ordinary citizens, some of whom appear in the film.

Teenage bimbos, rebellious punks and war veterans choose from memories of sexual encounters, childbirth, train rides, dance lessons and their final cigarette. The staff, meanwhile, gather to discuss various cases espe­cially those in danger of never recovering a truly joyous memory. A beautiful, spiritually rich idea handled in poignant cinematic fashion.

See also...

VIA SATELLITE

Twenty year-old Carol Dunn is set to win a surprise medal for New Zealand at the Olympics. Her family are caught up in the euphoria back home as a local television crew arrive and set up to film the ... More »

HENRY FOOL

Henry Fool is a self-styled Intellectual whose proclamations ring with both truth and falsity. His arrival info the lives of a dysfunctional family signifies the beginning of delicate yet profound ... More »

L.A. WITHOUT A MAP

At the age of 22, Richard has inherited his father's undertaking business in Bradford. During a burial, his life is turned upside-down when he meets Barbara, a beautiful young aspiring actress from ... More »

MY NAME IS JOE

This tale of working class characters caught in a down­ward spiral of their own and society's weaknesses could be considered amongst Ken Loach's best work. As befits his reputation, this is a no ... More »

AUTUMN TALE

Eric Rohmer once commented that his films deal less with what people do than what is going on in their minds while they're doing it—a cinema of thought rather than aclions. Winner of Best ... More »

SUGAR TOWN

Sugar Town is reminiscent of Robert Altman's Nashville, The Player and Short Cuts. An observalion that is meant as a compliment and as an indication of the quality company it keeps. The film cuts ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director