“If death were not the prelude to another life, the present life would be a cruel mockery. This quote from Mahatma Gandhi brings to the table the hope for the existence of other lives. Life after death. But what is death? It depends. From a medical point of view, death occurs when the fundamental functions of the human being, cardiac and respiratory activity, cease, which leads to the cessation of brain functions. And that is the end of it. However, one of the most disturbing enigmas throughout the history of mankind has been and continues to be that of death.
Philosophy has reacted to the idea of death in many different ways. Plato already considered philosophy as a tool for learning how to die. In this sense, learning to die is nothing more than learning to live, and to live well, even knowing that life is limited and finite. Death is a dimension of life and to reject it is to refuse to live. But beyond learning to die and to live, another of the eternal unknowns that human beings have tried to decipher without success is whether there is anything after death. If there is nothing after life, what is the meaning of death for man? It is precisely this subject, death, the possible life after death, that is the subject of Hereafter, the 2010 film directed by Clint Eastwood.
Hereafter > Film review
Hereafter tells three parallel stories about three people affected in different ways and in different places by death and who are brought together by fate. George Lonegan (Matt Damon) is a man with the ability or gift (which he considers a curse as it prevents him from living a normal life) to communicate with the dead. Marie Lelay (Cécile de France) is a journalist who survived the tsunami that devastated South Asia in 2004 and who remained for a few moments on the borderline between life and death. Clinically dead for a few moments, she believes she has visited the afterlife and, from that moment on, she will embark on a personal crusade to find answers. Finally, the story of Marcus (George McLaren), a young boy who loses his twin brother in an accident. Clint Eastwood manages to sensitively and tastefully weave together the lives of three people tormented by the same cause: death.
The film brings to the table a taboo subject for many societies, that of death. Our society is still reluctant to talk about it. We are not prepared to face death. In general, Western culture, from a scientific point of view, considers death as the end of life Hereafter it raises many questions. Probably all those that human beings ask themselves or have asked themselves throughout history. But the film does not give any answers. Moreover, it successfully sidesteps the issue of religions, which is not addressed at any point in the film. The film obviously leaves many questions unanswered, but it leaves, perhaps, a taste of hope.
Beyond Life tackles paranormal theme
The film, which straddles the line between drama and fantasy, with a classic and calm style, counted Steven Spielberg among its producers. Although it is true that it is surprising to find Clint Eastwood tackling such a paranormal subject, the truth is that he manages to give the film a certain touch of realism that invites us to ask ourselves such human questions as whether there is life after death or whether we can communicate with our loved ones. Questions that, deep down, concern us all.
Simple and emotional, shot with immense tenderness, the film succeeds in drawing the viewer into the supernatural world through the feelings of the protagonists. The film also features a beautiful score composed, incidentally, by Eastwood himself.
Clint Eastwood against the business of those who prey on hope
People who experience the loss of a loved one often fall victim to con artists. They see them as an opportunity to profit from their sadness by offering them a false hope that many need to cling to.
In any case, the film leaves us with a beautiful insight into the concerns we all have about what may or may not be there after life. The oldest and most human question there is: is there life after death? The eternal answer that human beings have been searching for since time immemorial.
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