[Movie] After Life (1998)

  • Title: ワンダフルライフ – Wonderful Life
  • Directed by: Hirokazu Koreeda
  • Cast: Arata Iura, Erika Oda

Say I choose a memory, from when I was eight or ten years old. Then I’ll only remember how I felt back then? I’ll be able to forget everything else? Really? You can forget? Well, then that really is heaven.

from the movie

If you must choose only one moment in your life, what would you like to choose? The film sets the stage for your choice. You died, and you have to choose only one memory of your life. You will stay within the memory forever while forgetting everything else.

The film is simple and clean, but it is philosophical at the same time. By overlapping many seemingly different ages and lives, the director embraces the mystery of life, happiness, and morality. Death has been regarded as the end of everything or the redemption after your life. In the film, there is neither heaven for good people nor hell for bad ones. There is only one eternal moment.

The touching moment is not the plot of the movie but the after-thought through the projection of the idea to our minds. What I want to remember is not the big events or changes. I rather chose the relaxed hiking time with my family, better with coffee and cookies.

The power of a film is not the strong sensation but the lingering memory to ponder further. The pace of “After Life” might be dull for someone, but the effect remains long after the ending credit.

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