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After Life
 
 
Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan 1998
118 mins. Japanese dialogue with English sub-titles
 
Summary:
 
Over the span of a week, twenty-two souls arrive at a way station (which looks like an old junior high school) between life and death, where they are asked to choose just one memory to take into the afterlife.  The new arrivals include an elderly woman, a rebellious dropout, a teenage girl and a 70-year-old war veteran.  Once they have chosen a memory, it is recreated and filmed by the staff of the way station, using all the tricks and illusions of cinema: cotton balls are used to mimic clouds, a fan is used for a summer breeze.
 
What the Critics say:
 
"A brilliant meditation on death and memory."  (Rotten Tomatoes website)

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