After Life

An original, humorous, and inspired meditation on life, memory, and happiness. Here, passage into the afterlife begins at a combination guidance school and movie set. As soon as a new group arrives, they are assigned counselors who help them choose one special memory to cherish for eternity. The memory, once picked, will be re-created by the staff, then captured on film for the dead to take into paradise. Over the course of one afterlife week, the latest arrivals-assisted by their earnest, at times exasperated, guides-select and retrieve their happiest moments. Mixing professionals with nonactors expressing their unscripted personal memories, the film combines genial, documentary-style conversations with poignant, resonant moments of discovery and magic as each person reveals a private paradise and then watches as a crew gathers to reenact it. Entwining documentary and reality within re-creation and reenactments, After Life becomes, as the director states, “a film about memory, and also a film about what it means to make films.” Simple, serene, yet emotionally, vibrantly complex, it unveils the mysterious power of memory in re-creating our lives, passions, and private heavens.

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