After a week of grief, remembering Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘After Life’, which promises a happy eternity

Posted on May 4, 2020

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Imagine spending all of eternity with the memory of eating ice-cream with your closest friends from school, or the memory of your spouse’s ecstatic face when you proposed.

At a time we are surrounded by mortal fear (and we’ve just lost two of our most beloved actors), it’s perhaps natural that the mind drifts towards death, which has inspired some of the most inventive cinematic narratives. In Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, we witness a game of chess between a medieval knight and Death personified. In M Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, we see a boy who sees dead people. In Anthony Minghella’s Truly, Madly, Deeply, a dead man moves in with his girlfriend, as a ghost. When people close to us die, we continue to “be with them”. The film literalises this notion.

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