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After Life

Dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda, 1998, Japan, 118 mins, Cert: PG

Thu 9 May // 19:30 / Cinema

Tickets: Pay as you can: £7/5/3

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Arguably the most critically acclaimed and among the most widely distributed of contemporary Japanese live-action directors. Kore-eda won the Cannes Palme d’Or for Shoplifters in 2018. After Life is one of his earlier films (his second feature film), and it deals with similar themes as his other films: human relationships and role of compassion. What sets this film apart is that it dips more into fantasy by being set in a way station between life and death. It poses an interesting question: "What is the one memory you would take with you?" This serves as a springboard to explore differences between "truth" and "fiction" and the role of memory. Keith Phipps describes the film as "a peculiar and uniquely moving examination of life after death", observing how "almost incidentally [it] serves as a meditation on filmmaking."