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After life

After life (ワンダフルライフ or Wonderful Life, 1998 by Hirohazu Koreeda[?] 是枝裕和) is an award-winning Japanese movie.

The theme of the movie is individual soul-searching. The way of presentation in the movie is rather unique and to some people humorous.

The whole movie is set in a structure resembling a somewhat decrepit travel lodge. A group of people who have just died check in at the beginning of each week, and the "social workers" resident in the lodge explain to each guest their situation. The newly-dead have until Wednesday to decide what the single happiest or most significant memory from their life is, and then for the rest of the week the workers make short movies to recreate each person's chosen memory.

At the end of the week, the movies are shown in the 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 into eternity.

The stories of the guests and the workers' past life and how each individual dealt with them in the way-station give the movie a lot of depth. Without reading the subtitles or understanding the dialog, the look and feel of the movie gives absolutely no hint on the serious theme behind it. Perhaps such unexpected and unique story telling technique won the movie its awards.



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