GenreDrama, Fantasy ScreenplayHirokazu Koreeda WriterHirokazu Koreeda LanguageJapanese
Release dateSeptember 11, 1998 (Toronto Film Festival)
April 17, 1999 (Japan) CastArata Iura (Takashi Mochizuki), Erika Oda (Shiori Satonaka), Susumu Terajima (Satoru Kawashima), Takashi Naitô (Takuro Sugie), Kei Tani (Kennosuke Nakamura), Kyôko Kagawa (Kyoko Watanabe, Ichiro's Wife) Similar moviesCashback, The Forgotten, The Captive, Facing Windows, Down to Earth
After life 1998 trailer
After Life, known in Japan as Wonderful Life(ワンダフルライフ,Wandafuru Raifu), is a 1998 film by Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda starring Arata, Oda Erika and Terajima Susumu.
Koreeda's After Life is set in a small mid-20th century social-service-style office, acting as a waystation, where the souls of the recently deceased are processed before entering heaven. "Heaven," for the film, is a single happy memory from one's life, re-experienced for eternity, which each of the deceased must choose within their seven days at the waystation..
Every Monday, a new group of recently deceased people check in, and the "social workers" in the lodge explain to each guest their situation. The newly-dead have until Wednesday to identify the single happiest memory. For the rest of the week, the workers at the institution work to design and replicate each person's chosen memory, thereby replicating the single happiest moment of that person's life. This moment is staged and filmed.
At the end of the week, the recently deceased watch the films of their recreated happiest memories in a screening room. As soon as each person sees his or her own memory, he or she vanishes to whatever unknown state of existence lies beyond and takes only that single memory with them.
The story pays most attention to two of the "counselors," Takashi (Arata) and Shiori (Oda). Takashi has been assigned to help an old man, Ichiro (played by Naito Taketoshi), select his memory. Takashi reviews videotape of Ichiro's life and learns that Ichiro had married Takashi's former fiancée after Takashi had been killed during World War II. Takashi has Ichiro assigned to another counselor, but is still troubled by his memories, causing both him and his quasi-romantic interest Shiori to re-examine their (after-) lives.
Arata - Takashi Mochizuki
Erika Oda - Shiori Satonaka
Susumu Terajima - Satoru Kawashima
Takashi Naito - Takuro Sugie
Kyōko Kagawa - Kyoko Watanabe (Mr. Watanabe's wife as well as Mochizuki's former fiancée)
Kei Tani - Kennosuke Nakamura
Taketoshi Naito - Ichiro Watanabe
Toru Yuri - Gisuke Shoda
Yūsuke Iseya - Yusuke Iseya
Sayaka Yoshino - Kana Yoshino
Kazuko Shirakawa - Nobuko Amano
Kotaro Shiga - Kenji Yamamoto
Hisako Hara - Kiyo Nishimura
Sadao Abe - Ichiro (as young man)
Natsuo Ishido - Kyoko Watanabe (as young woman)
Koreeda got his start directing television documentaries for TV Man Union. Much of the action in After Life is shown as interviews conducted with the recently deceased regarding their lives. Some of these interviews were scripted, but many were done impromptu, with real people (not actors) reminiscing about their own lives.
Ebert, Roger (1999-08-06). "After Life". Roger Ebert. Retrieved 2014-07-03.