The Null Device

After Life

Last night, I had occasion to watch a Japanese film titled "After Life".

The film (whose Japanese title was the kana transliteration of "Wonderful Life") is set in a sort of limbo, where the recently deceased are given a week to choose one memory from their lives which they wish to keep; the memory is then reconstructed by a team of counsellors and technicians (who themselves once lived and died) as a short film and shown to the deceased, who will then remain in that moment, and that moment alone, for all eternity. The film took place over one week, with one cohort of the recently deceased (among them, a middle-aged woman reliving an exciting affair, an elderly man wishing he had made some mark on the world and a young hipster who refuses to choose a memory on purpose). The film itself has the feel of a documentary; it starts somewhat drily, though gradually, the characters' past lives and all too vivid memories and regrets are revealed.

I found this film poignant and beautiful; the feel of it reminded me a little of another (though somewhat different) favourite film of mine, the Icelandic film Angels of the Universe.

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