After Life

The Criterion Collection

After Life

If you could choose only one memory to hold on to for eternity, what would it be? That’s the question at the heart of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s revelatory international breakthrough, a bittersweet fantasia in which the recently deceased find themselves in a limbo realm where they must select a single cherished moment from their life to be recreated on film for them to take into the next world. After Life’s high-concept premise is grounded in Kore‑eda’s documentary-like approach to the material, which he shaped through interviews with hundreds of Japanese citizens. What emerges is a panoramic vision of the human experience—its ephemeral joys and lingering regrets—and a quietly profound meditation on memory, our interconnectedness, and the amberlike power of cinema to freeze time.


  • Japan
  • 1998
  • 119 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #1089


  • New 2K restoration, approved by writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda, with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring film scholar Linda C. Ehrlich
  • New interviews with Kore-eda and cinematographers Masayoshi Sukita and Yutaka Yamazaki
  • Deleted scenes
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen

    New cover featuring photography by Masayoshi Sukita, designed by Eric Skillman