After Life (1998)
"Wandâfuru raifu" (original title)

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Reviews: 101 user | 79 critic

After death, people have just one week to choose only a memory to keep for eternity.


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7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Arata Iura ...
Takashi Mochizuki, counsellor (as Arata)
Erika Oda ...
Shiori Satonaka, trainee counsellor
Susumu Terajima ...
Satoru Kawashima, counsellor
Takashi Naitô ...
Takuro Sugie, counsellor
Kyôko Kagawa ...
Kyoko Watanabe, Ichiro's Wife
Kei Tani ...
Kennosuke Nakamura, boss
Taketoshi Naitô ...
Ichiro Watanabe, who cannot choose his favourite experience
Tôru Yuri ...
Gisuke Shoda, who talks about sex
Yûsuke Iseya ...
Yusuke Iseya, who refuses to choose his experience
Sayaka Yoshino ...
Kana Yoshino, talks about Disneyland
Kazuko Shirakawa ...
Nobuko Amano, who talks about her affair with a married man
Kôtarô Shiga ...
Kenji Yamamoto, who wants to forget his past
Hisako Hara ...
Kiyo Nishimura, old lady who loves cherry blossoms
Sadao Abe ...
Ichiro (as young man)
Natsuo Ishidô ...
Kyoko Watanabe as a young woman


After people die, they spend a week with counselors, also dead, who help them pick one memory, the only memory they can take to eternity. They describe the memory to the staff who work with a crew to film it and screen it at week's end; eternity follows. 22 dead arrive that week, assigned to three counselors and a trainee. One old man cannot find a memory, so he watches videotape of his life. Others pick their memory quickly, and the film crew gets right to work. The trainee, 18-year-old Shiori, helps a teenage girl choose a memory other than Disneyland. The youthful staff have a secret and feelings, too, which play out, especially Shiori's affection for her mentor, Mochizuki Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What is the one memory you would take with you?


Drama | Fantasy


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 April 1999 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

After Life  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,791 (USA) (14 May 1999)


$801,985 (USA) (24 March 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Was released on DVD in France in 2010, 11 years after its 1999 theatrical release in the country. See more »


References Rebecca (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

Visually electric
3 June 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Afterlife is without a doubt one of the greatest Japanese films I've ever seen. Visually it is truly stunning. Kore Eda is known for his own obsession with lighting and his skill for casting shadows and beams of white light are second to none. Combined with an innovative, creative and enjoyable story that takes on a slightly supernatural docu-drama and at the same time is set in a dull, down and out halfway house between Earth(life) and heaven(afterlife). Fascinating scenes take place as the deceased have one week to decide on a single memory from their lifetime that they can keep for all eternity. He also includes elements of documentary with talking head scenes of the deceased talking about their memories. Kore Eda throws around some extremely interesting ideas and themes on life and human emotions for our memories and he genuinely makes you think about what he's said once you've finished watching.

This is a film that not everyone would enjoy due to its slow moving pace, mood orientated lighting and partly improvised script, but it is a creative masterpiece that is definitely worthy of high praise and attention.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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