After Death (2023) Movie Review: A Beautifully Filmed Exploration of Near-Death Experiences

The biggest question that people ask, whether they are young or old, is what happens when we die? Where do we go? What lies beyond this life? After Death, the new documentary from Angel Studios, doesn’t have all the answers, nor should it. But, for 108 minutes, we hear testimonies of those who have experienced death head-on. Most of the people that are featured have gone on to become successful authors, such as 90 Minutes in Heaven’s Don Piper. Others that are featured may not be as well-known, but the stories they share carry the same emotional weight behind them.

Those who have survived their near-death experience are interviewed for the movie, sharing what it is that led to their death and what happened when they were temporarily not of this world. One survivor mentioned that he had stomach problems, which grew to essentially be fatal. But he was able to overcome them and live to tell his story. Another was a pilot who crashed a plane.

Most of the stories come about as showcasing people who witnessed traumatic events that were beyond their control in the physical realm. While these stories are important to hear, the ones that really carry the most impact are when people talk about their internal struggles and how they pushed themselves to extremes. One person talks about, in extremely graphic detail, how he attempted suicide. It’s tough to hear the story, but if he were to restrain himself, it wouldn’t carry the same weight. Another person talks about how he caused a lot of self-harm on himself and lost his family, only thinking that drugs would be the best thing for him.

Stories like these have been recreated and reenacted in many movies and television shows but hearing it from the people who experienced it is much more intriguing. Directors Chris Radtke and Stephen Gray do use unknown actors to recreate the stories being told, which gives the movie the opportunity to present the stories with captivating visuals.

Some of the shots give a Terrence Malick-like vibe, especially from The Tree of Life and Voyage of Time. And while After Death doesn’t quite carry the same deep conversations that a Malick film does, there’s still plenty to appreciate and make one question about what will happen once we die and how we should live our life to the fullest before the time does officially come.

After Death is now playing exclusively in theaters.
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David Wangberg

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