Members of a cult, modeled on Aum Shinrikyo, sabotage a city's water supply, then commit mass suicide near the shores of a lake. Family members of those affected by it meet at the lake to observe the anniversary of their loved ones' deaths.
Twelve-year-old Koichi, who has been separated from his brother Ryunosuke due to his parents' divorce, hears a rumor that the new bullet trains will precipitate a wish-granting miracle when they pass each other at top speed.
Ryota is a successful workaholic businessman. When he learns that his biological son was switched with another boy after birth, he faces the difficult decision to choose his true son or the boy he and his wife have raised as their own.
The film follows Hirata Yutaka, the first openly gay AIDS sufferer in Japan. Filmed over a series of months, it contrasts his public life as an outspoken figure on the lecture circuit with his personal descent into illness and death.
A small mid-20th century social-service-style office is a waystation for the souls of the recently deceased, where they are processed before entering their personal heaven - a single happy memory re-experienced for eternity. Every Monday, a new group of recently deceased people check in, and the "social workers" in the lodge explain their situation. Once the newly-dead have identified their happiest memories, workers design and replicate each person's chosen memory, which 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 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. Reviewing videotape of ...Written by
Every Monday morning, a team of advisors welcome in a facility a group of people that has just died with the mission of helping each one of them to select their best memory that will last for the eternity in the first three days. On Thursday, filmmakers begin to recreate the selected memory, and in the end of the week they screen it in a movie theater and he or she moves to Heaven.
I bought "Wandâfuru Raifu", or "After Life" on DVD, since I was very intrigued with the summary on its cover. I saw this low budget movie spoken in Japanese with English subtitles and I found the story very original and provocative. The premise of rebuilding eternity along a week, like God created Earth, and Heaven be a projection of a movie of the best memory one could have, is fantastic. In spite of having unexplained points, like for example the need itself of lasting with only one single memory, and inconsistencies, like why the need of shooting the memory, if the staff can bring videotapes of the entire life, what matters is the originality of this unique movie. One point that has always impressed me in cinema is the fact the actors and actresses last forever in the eyes of the audiences along generations. In this movie, each one of us has the chance to be an actor or actress, and write our own screenplay. Further, I personally recalled many good moments of my life just because of the storyline of this movie, and I found how difficult it could be to select only one good moment of my life to last forever. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Depois da Vida" ("After Life")
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